Breaking a Bone
An adult human has about 206 bones. These bones come in all shapes and sizes. As
people grow, the bones in their bodies are very much alive. Bones are constantly growing and
changing along with the person. One way they change is that bones in a young child are very
soft, but as people get older, their bones gradually harden. Bones are fully grown and have
reached their maturity when someone reaches the age of 25. Bones have a number of different
functions, but two of the most important are that bones provide support and protection for the
body. Bones give the body its shape and also protect sensitive organs like the heart, lungs, and
brain. Human bones are very strong, but, no matter how strong bones are, sometimes they break.
A broken bone is called a fracture, which can be very painful. When people fracture a bone,
they go to the doctor, who will try to fix the fracture. For a while it hurts to move the injured
part of the body; but fortunately, a doctor can fix a broken bone and make the injured person feel
better. The first thing a doctor will do is to take an x-ray to see where the break is. An x-ray is a
picture, taken by a special machine, of the inside of your body. Once the doctor has an x-ray, he
can see what a person’s bones look like and if one is broken. If it is a complex fracture, the
doctor might have to operate to put the pieces back together before putting on a cast. If it is a
simple fracture, many times the doctor can use the cast to keep the bones in the right place so
they can heal. A cast is made of wet bandages put around the part of your body with the break,
and the bandages harden so the bones cannot move.
The human body is very good at fixing itself when a part of the body is injured. When
there is a fracture, the body sends lots of blood to the area to bring nutrients to the injury. The
bones will then use those nutrients and start to grow. The bones will eventually mend together.
Once the bones heal back together the cast be removed. A special saw is used to remove the
cast. The process of removing the cast does not hurt. Although breaking a bone can be scary, it is
good to know doctors can help.
1.) What are the two most important functions of bones in the human body?
A. For height and balance.
B. For nutrients and healing.
C. For movement and strength.
D. For support and protection.
2.) What does the word complex mean as it is used in the passage?
A. Simple.
B. Complicated.
C. Operation.
D. Fracture.
3.) What is the main idea of this passage?
A. Bones do not heal themselves when injured.
B. Bones protect the internal organs.
C. Bones sometimes break but can mend.
D. Bones provide support for the body.
4.) Why must a special saw be used when removing a cast?
A. Because it is very painful to have a cast removed.
B. Because a cast is made of material that requires a special saw.
C. Because a regular saw is not strong enough to cut the cast.
D. Because a regular saw might cut a person’s skin.
5.) What must a doctor do first when fixing a fracture?
A. Operate on the broken bone.
B. Take an x-ray of the broken bone.
C. Put a cast on the broken bone.
D. Send nutrients to heal the bone.
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Connecting: Have you ever had a broken bone or do you know
somebody who has broken a bone? Write a paragraph describing
what the doctor did to fix your broken bone, or write about the
person you know. What bone did that person break? Did they have
to get an operation or a cast?