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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)

Last reviewed: May 2018

Need more information?

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Top results

Fractures - bone healing | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What happens when childrens bones break? A fractured bone is the same as a broken bone

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Bone fracture: Brian's experience with breaking a wrist | myVMC

In this experience we speak to Brian; a hard-working exec who learnt how to type with his left hand - the hard way, after fracturing his wrist.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Kids' Health - Topics - Bone fractures when you break a bone

Your bones are very strong and can almost always stand up to the pressure you put on them when you are running, falling, crashing into things and all the other things that happen when you are busy adding to your collection of bruises!

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Kids' Health - Topics - First aid - broken bones

We call it a fracture [frak-cher] when a bone has been broken or cracked. In young children bones are a lot more bendy' so the bone may have been bent but not completely broken. We call this a greenstick fracture.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Osteoporosis information | myVMC

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by weak, brittle bones which fracture easily. It is most common in post menopausal women.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Osteoporosis in men | Andrology Australia

Osteoporosis usually affects older women and men. It is a disorder of the skeleton that lessens bone strength, which increases the risk of fracture. Bone

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Moving Safely | Osteoporosis Australia

Preventing Falls - why it's important For people with osteoporosis, even a minor fall can cause a broken bone, so preventing falls has become an important part of managing bone health. Half of all falls occur around the home and approx one third of people over 65 fall each year. It is estimated around 6% of falls result in a broken bone. Falls are most commonly caused by

Read more on Osteoporosis Australia website

Blokes, Bones and Breaks

Osteoporosis is often seen as a woman’s disease but men suffer too. Around 250,000 men in Australia have osteoporosis and this is expected to increase. Men account for 30% of all fractures that occur in people over 50. Osteoporosis can be prevented and treated. Taking early action is the most effective way of preventing a broken bone.

Read more on Osteoporosis Australia website

Prevention of falls and fractures as you age past the menopause - Australasian Menopause Society

Falls are the main cause of fractures or broken bones at any age.Risk of falling is increased with age, number of medical conditions (3 or more), number of medications (4 or more), small or large body size, vision or hearing decline, vestibular problems (middle ear balance organ problems), poor balance, stroke, diabetes, Parkinsons disease and dementia. With every additional medical condition diagnosed before the age of 60, the risk of falling increases by 8%. After the age of 60, this incr

Read more on Australasian Menopause Society website

Osteoporosis - Australasian Menopause Society

Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by weakened bones that fracture easily. After menopause many women are at risk of developing osteoporosis.Peak bone mass is usually reached during a womans 20s to 30s when the skeleton has stopped growing and bones are at their strongest.The female sex hormone oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining bone strength. After menopause oestrogen levels drop and this may result in increased bone loss. The average woman loses up to 10 per cent of

Read more on Australasian Menopause Society website

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