Fracture Vs. Break: What Is The Difference?

May 15, 2024

It might be surprising, but a broken bone and a fractured bone mean the same thing. A fracture happens when something outside the body puts too much pressure on a bone. Even though bones are usually strong, they can get weaker over time and easier to break.

Fractures can happen in different ways: straight down, sideways, or in several pieces. There are different reasons why bones break. However, fracture vs. bone means the same thing.

What Is Worse a Fracture or a Break?

In simple terms, “fracture” and “break” mean the same thing. They’re just different ways to say a bone is damaged. A fracture is a medical term to indicate a broken bone. Whether the bone is visibly broken or just has a tiny crack that only shows up on an X-ray, it’s still considered a fracture.

Is a Fracture a Break or a Crack?

A fracture happens when a bone breaks or cracks because it can’t handle the force put on it. The wrist, ankle, and hip are the most common places for bones to break. A crack in the bone doesn’t cause the bone to break cleanly; instead, there’s just a gap or break in the bone material.

Hairline Fracture Vs. Break

A fracture means a bone or bone cartilage is cracked or broken. A hairline fracture is a very thin crack in the bone. It might not show up on an X-ray right away. Hairline fractures, also called stress fractures, happen when a bone gets a small crack or bruise.

This can happen suddenly, but it often comes from doing the same movement over and over, like in sports or work. While these fractures can heal with enough rest, they can hurt a lot and take a few weeks to get better. Anyone who does regular physical activity can get a hairline fracture, especially if it involves doing the same movements, which strains the bones.

Fracture Vs. Break Ankle

When at least one of the three bones in your ankle breaks, it’s called an ankle fracture. If only one bone is broken, you might not realize how serious it is. But if multiple bones break, your ankle can become unstable, and you may not be able to walk properly.

An ankle fracture can also hurt the ligaments. Ligaments connect bones together to keep joints stable. They often get injured in ankle sprains, but they can also be damaged in ankle fractures. If the ligaments tear and the ankle fractures, it can make the ankle feel unsteady.

Fracture Vs. Break Wrist

Your wrist joint is made of small bones in your wrist and the ends of your forearm bones. Fractured is just the medical word for a broken bone, so a fractured wrist is the same as a broken wrist. Your injury might be called a fracture, break, or crack, but they all mean the same thing.

Wrapping Up

When discussing break vs fracture, it’s important to know they mean the same thing. The real difference comes from whether the fracture is simple or complex. However, it is crucial to visit an expert like Dr. Gombera at Mufaddal M. Gombera, MD, for any pain or swelling in your limbs.

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon is currently part of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. Call us at (713) 794-3457 to book an appointment.

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Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.



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