Understanding Bone Fractures -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on July 30, 2019

What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Bone?

Signs and symptoms of a broken bone include:

  • Swelling or bruising over a bone
  • Deformity of an arm or leg
  • Pain in the injured area that gets worse when the area is moved or pressure is applied
  • An inability to bear weight on the affected foot, ankle, or leg
  • Loss of function in the injured area
  • In open fractures, bone protruding from the skin

Fractures are usually caused by a fall, blow, or other traumatic event.

Pathologic fractures are those caused by disease (such as cancer) that weakens the bones and can occur with little or no trauma. Osteoporosis, a disorder in which the bones thin and lose strength as they age, causes 1.5 million fractures each year in the U.S. -- especially in the hip, wrist, and spine.


Call Your Doctor About a Broken Bone or Go to an Urgent Care or Emergency Room If:

You think that you or someone you're with may have fractured a bone. This can be a medical emergency.

WebMD Medical Reference



American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Fractures."

National Institute on Aging: "Falls and Fractures."

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: "Fracture types."

National Institutes of Health.

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