Fractures A fracture is a broken or cracked bone. Always seek medical care for all fractures. There may be symptoms you are not aware of that may make the injury more complex than first thought. There are three types of bone fractures: Simple fracture involves no wound or internal or external bleeding. Open fracture involves bleeding or the protrusion of bone through the skin. Complicated fracture involves penetration of a bone into a bodily structure or vital organ. The symptoms of a fracture include: Hearing a snapping noise when the injury occurred Pain or tenderness at or near the injury Inability to move the limb Loss of strength in the limb Shortening of the limb or an abnormally shaped limb Swelling and/or bruising around the area A grinding noise if the limb is moved Allow the victim to support the injured area in the most comfortable position. Stabilize the injured part with your hands or a splint to prevent movement. For an open fracture: Do not push on any protruding bone. Cover the wound and exposed bone with a dressing. Apply ice or a cold pack if possible to help reduce swelling or pain. Call 911 for any open fractures or large-bone fractures. Do not move the victim unless there is an immediate danger. Be aware of the onset of shock, which may present as the victim vomiting or fainting. Shock is when the bodys tissues do not receive enough oxygenated blood. E. Sprains, Strains, and Dislocations A sprain, strain, or dislocation may occur when a joint has been forced past its natural range of movement, or a muscle or ligament has been overstressed or torn. Sprain Occurs when a joint is forced beyond its natural movement limit causing stretching or tearing in the ligaments that hold the bones together. Symptoms: pain and loss of limb function, with swelling and bruising present. Treatment: Apply covered ice packs every 20 minutes. Elevate the injured limb. Apply an elastic compression bandage to the area and beyond the affected area. Always treat a sprain as a fracture until medical opinion says otherwise. Strain Caused by the overstretching of muscles and tendons. Symptoms: sharp pain in the area immediately after the injury occurs, increased pain when using the limb, or tenderness over the entire muscle. The muscle may also have an indentation at the strain location. When a strain occurs: Have the victim rest. Elevate the injured limb. Apply covered ice packs every 20 minutes. Apply an elastic compression bandage. Dislocation Displacement of a joint from its normal position. Caused by an external force stretching the ligaments beyond their elastic limit. Symptoms: pain or tenderness around the area, inability to move the joint, deformity of the joint, and swelling and discoloration over the joint. If a dislocation occurs: Try to immobilize the limb. Seek medical attention.