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How to Determine If You Have a Broken Bone

If you are an active person who enjoys outdoor activities and playing sports, you can get injured and not realize the extent of your injury. A common injury that can happen to anyone at any age is a broken bone.

A broken bone can be either painful or not painful depending on location. A broken bone is a serious medical emergency and needs to be thoroughly examined and treated by a medical professional.

If you are injured, here are some tips that help you determine if you have a broken bone and provide first aid for your injury.

Acute Pain

If you have a broken bone, you will have acute pain. This pain will be deep and hurt with the slightest movement. Bone pain is not hot like muscle pain; it is a colder pain but equally intense.

Another kind of pain that you can have is a topical pain on the skin of your suspected bone break. If you touch your skin directly over your injury, your skin will burn and hurt. If you have these two types of pain, you could have a broken bone.

Severe Swelling

The area over your bone will be swollen. This swelling will be severe and interfere with your ability to move. This swelling is created by the release of fluid from your lymph glands. If your mobility is limited, you could have a potential broken bone.


The area of your injury will be bruised. Bruising occurs when tiny blood vessels burst at the site of your suspected bone break. As blood leaks from nearby blood vessels, it will pool near the bone break and under the skin.

The area around your suspected bone break will have a bluish tint and could indicate that you have a broken bone.

Skin Redness and Bleeding

If your broken bone was caused by a blow or strike from an object or a fall, you could have topical redness and bleeding on the skin over the injury. When this happens in conjunction with a bone break, it is called a compound fracture. This type of injury could indicate that you have a broken bone.

Loss of Function

As the swelling of your injury progresses, your bone break will lose more mobility. The lymph and blood that are leaking into the injury site will fill the area and press on nearby muscles and inhibit movement. This is another indicator of a potential bone break.

Bone Protrusion

If your bone break is the result of a fall or an accident of great force, the broken bone may move out of place. If the broken bone moves far enough out of place, the end of the bone may protrude through nearby muscles and create a lump under the skin. A bone protrusion is another potential indicator of a bone break.

First Aid Care

The first thing that you can do is to isolate your injury and do not move that area of your body around. If you are bleeding, stop the blood with a pressure bandage. Once the bleeding has stopped, apply a cold compresses to further stop the blood from flowing around your injury. Apply another pressure bandage and elevate your injury so that it is above the level of your heart.

Contact an Urgent Care Center

After self-treating your injury, you can determine the extent of your injury. If you think that you have a broken bone, go to an urgent care center and be examined by a physician or medical professional as soon as possible.

If you have been injured and suspect that you may have a broken bone, visit Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc. Our professional medical staff will conduct a thorough examination, take X-rays, diagnosis your injuries, and treat them to get you on the road to recovery.


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