Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons treating Amniotic Band Syndrome

PATHOLOGICAL FRACTURES

A pathological fracture is a break in a bone that is caused by an underlying disease. At the Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists Practice, we specialize in pathological fractures.

 

If your child needs surgery or casting, our Fracture Care Clinic opens every day and you do not need an appointment. Surgery rooms get scheduled every morning, so your child receives the care and attention they need right away.

Pathological Fractures

When a fracture occurs in a child with little or no apparent trauma, when the fracture is in an unusual place, or when radiographs reveal an aberrant process in the bone, a pathological fracture should be considered. Changes to the normal biomechanics of bone can result from both intrinsic and extrinsic processes, including internal fixation, biopsy tracts, and radiation. Intrinsic processes include changes in the mineral density of the bone from benign and malignant bone tumors, diseases like osteogenesis imperfecta, or infection. The force applied and the changing bone strength will affect the likelihood of a pathological fracture. It is possible to distinguish between micro- and macro-fractures in pathological fractures, which are frequently accompanied by pain and deformity. The metaphysis or vertebral bodies tend to have microfractures most frequently, which are normally non-displaced. Unknown to many people, they exist.

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of fractures vary depending on the individual’s location, age, general health, and severity of the injury. However, people with fractures usually experience symptoms such as:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • skin that is darkened around the afflicted region
  • the afflicted portion protruding at an odd angle
  • not being able to bear weight on the damaged area
  • being unable to move the injured area
  • if there is an open fracture, a grating feeling in the damaged bone or joint hemorrhage

In more extreme situations, a person could encounter:

  • dizziness
  • faintness or lightheadedness
  • nausea

What are the Causes?

Osteoporosis

Your bones become increasingly brittle and susceptible to breaking as a result of the condition osteoporosis. Osteoporosis symptoms often manifest in the later stages of the illness, when the bones are fragile and brittle. Some symptoms include:

  • Often caused by a collapsed or shattered vertebra, back pain
  • hunched posture
  • progressive height loss
  • fractures, frequently in the wrist, spine, or hip.

Osteoporosis is quite prevalent. More often than not, it affects women more than males. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that osteoporosis will cause up to 25% of men and 50% of women to break a bone in their lifetime. Older folks are more likely to experience it.

Cancer

Cancer is a disease of abnormal cell proliferation. It can affect almost any area of ​​your body. Many cancers invade bones, weakening them and causing them to break. Symptoms of cancer vary greatly by type and stage, but common symptoms include:

  • under-skin hard lump(s).
  • puffiness and discomfort
  • enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Fever and chills or nocturnal sweats.
  • unjustified weight loss
  • adjustments to appetite.
  • alterations in bowel movements.
  • appearance alterations to the skin.
  • non-healing injuries.
  • an infection or cold that persists.

Some of these symptoms are common to many unimportant ailments, but it’s better to discuss them with your doctor to be sure. Early detection of cancer makes treatment considerably simpler.

Osteomalacia

Your bones get softer if you have osteomalacia. Lack of vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption, is frequently to blame. Your bones begin to deteriorate if you don’t absorb enough calcium, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones. They are more likely to break because of this. Symptoms of osteomalacia include:

  • muscle weakness
  • pain, often in the hips
  • fractures

Osteomalacia is typically treated with dietary changes or supplementation.

Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection. A bacterial or fungal infection that has spread to surrounding bones is the cause of it. Osteomyelitis can occasionally result in a pathologic fracture. Symptoms of osteomyelitis include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • feeling worn out or agitated.
  • Redness, discomfort, or swelling may be present at the infection site.
  • stiffness where the injury was.

Other conditions

Pathologic fractures can also be caused by other disorders. Some of these are as follows:

  • cysts and noncancerous tumors
  • Paget’s disease of the bones is an uncommon disorder that results in atypical bone structure.
  • osteogenesis imperfecta

Risk of Pathologic Fractures

While it is possible to fortify your bones while you are young, you cannot foresee whether you will have a pathologic fracture. These are some of the elements that raise your risk:

  • consuming insufficient amounts of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients in your diet.
  • weighing too little or too much.
  • suffering from back or bone pain
  • inadequate mobility and physical exercise.
  • Too little sun exposure to absorb vitamin D.
  • hormone changes due to sex or growth.
  • An increase in inflammatory conditions.
  • You have a family history of pathologic fractures.

Treatments for Pathologic Fractures

To make a diagnosis, a doctor will ask about the events leading up to a child’s fracture and subsequently conduct a physical examination. To completely evaluate the fracture, doctors will prescribe an X-ray. In most circumstances, the normal process of bone mending will take place. As a result, the treatment goal is usually to ensure that the broken bone has the greatest possible conditions for healing and that it will operate at its best going forward. A doctor will align the ends of the broken bones to allow the healing process to begin.

A physician can do this with minor fractures by externally moving the injured region. However, this can call for surgery in some circumstances. With fractures that are caused by a disease, our doctors develop a treatment plan after assessing the seriousness of the disease. Pain alleviation, stability of the spine, and reversal or stabilization of neurological impairments are the objectives of treatment.

Your child might need to wear a cast or splint to treat the fracture itself. To hold the bone in place, your child might require surgery to insert plates, pins, or screws. Your child will need to take some time off from playing or other activities that might put stress on the fractured bone. At our practice, we will want to treat the underlying cause of the bone break if the fracture is pathological in nature in order to help prevent it from happening again. The etiology of the weakening bone will have a significant impact on how a pathologic fracture is treated. Pathologic fractures can have a variety of reasons, some of which weaken the bone but do not affect how well they mend.

Healing

On the other hand, a pathologic fracture may have certain factors that hinder the bone from mending normally. As a result, some pathologic fractures need to be treated similarly to regular fractures, while others can need more specialized care. For particularly fragile bones, avoiding surgery is advised when a fracture occurs. Alternatively, your doctor might:

  • Prescribe painkillers to keep you at ease
  • To ensure full healing of the pathologic fracture, reduce your physical activity.
  • Place you in a leg or back brace for support and to relieve pressure on the injured region.

Health Effects of Pathologic Fractures

You may sustain long-term harm as a result of a pathologic fracture. A pathological fracture’s detrimental effects on your health can be reduced by:

  • Avoiding hard lifting in favor of asking for assistance when necessary
  • Getting sturdy bone implants will let you continue utilizing that body part while putting less strain on the affected location.
  • Practice stability and balance to change how you carry your weight.

Breaking bones reduces mobility. Pain from a pathologic fracture can be nerve-wracking when re-injured, but it’s important to stay active. This is especially important as we age, as staying active helps maintain cardiovascular health. If you’ve already dealt with a pathologic fracture, you don’t have to carry the burden of another medical condition.

Pathologic fractures can also affect health in other ways. Left untreated, fractures can cause swelling, bruising, and pain. In some cases, it leads to skeletal deformities and changes in the ability to sit, stand, or sleep. A pathologic fracture can cause chronic discomfort, which might make you unpleasant and uninterested in activities you formerly found enjoyable.

Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.

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