Setting bone after bike crash or sports injury is no "piece of cake" according to Doug Landau

Lance Armstrong broke his collar bone in a bike crash, and yet he is racing in the Tour de France. Tyler Hamilton won a stage with a broken collar bone. However, some bicycle crashes result in fractures and breaks where the bones take longer to heal and the rider cannot resume competition until the healing is complete. A complete fracture may be a:

  • closed fracture: a fracture that doesn’t break the skin (these are sometimes hard to diagnose, as the symptoms may be similar to a bone bruise)b1_2222_1.jpg
  • open (or compound) fracture: a fracture in which the ends of the broken bone break through the skin (these have an increased risk of infection and require immediate medical attention so that there is not bone tissue death or other complications like shock)
  • non-displaced fracture: a fracture in which the pieces on either side of the break line up
  • displaced fracture: a fracture in which the pieces on either side of the break are out of line (which might require surgery to make sure the bones are properly aligned before casting, in a procedure called an “open reduction and internal fixation” or “ORIF”)
  • pictures

Other common fracture terms include:10202.jpg

  1. hairline fracture: a thin break in the bone, which is sometimes difficult to see on the x-ray
  2. single fracture: the bone is broken in one place
  3. segmental: the bone is broken in two or more places in the same bone
  4. comminuted fracture: the bone is broken into more than two pieces or crushed
  5. stress fracture, which is usually visualized on x-ray after the healing and mineralization of the bone has begun.

Doug holding fracture inspired birthday cake DSCF4554.jpg

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