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A bone fracture may also be called a bone break or crack. Bone fractures can be caused by a trauma, such as a sporting injury, motor vehicle accident, or a fall.

Bone fractures can also be caused by minor injuries in conditions that weaken the bones and allow them to fracture more easily (osteoporosis and some types of cancer are examples).

Symptoms of a bone fracture may include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • deformity
  • bruising
  • loss of function of the limb

Fractured bones require medical attention. If the fracture is the result of a major trauma or accident, call triple zero (000). You should also call for emergency help if the person:

  • is unconscious or not responding - you should perform CPR if there is no pulse or breathing
  • is bleeding heavily
  • has bone visible through the skin
  • has a possible back, neck, or head injury.

 Follow the links below to find trusted information about fractures.


Mayo Clinic (Fractures (broken bones): First aid)

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Last reviewed: May 2018

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Osteoporosis can result in fractures.

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