Types of fractures in the human body


Fracture is one of the most common skeletal diseases in the world. There are many types of fractures. Treatment can also be different according to types of fractures. Before we introduce the classification of these fractures, let’s simply review what the fracture is.

Bone fracture: As we talked about the bone fracture in our previous articles bone fracture causes and definition, the bone fracture is the medical term for the broken bone in the human body when getting external trauma.  When a person gets unexpected trauma, accident or fall, some part of their body bone breaks. This call fracture. Sometimes when the fracture happens, bone deformities, bleeding or exposure of broken bone are expecting but sometimes not. Usually, patients who break bones will feel pain, unable to move the broken area, redness, swelling or other symptoms related to bone fracture.

Because fracture is a common bone disease and often occurs in the elderly and children, it is necessary to get to know it more. you may check the following article:

In this article, we will explain some types of fractures.

Types of bone fractures diagram
Types of bone fractures diagram


How many types of fractures are exist in modern medicine?  The bone fracture can be divided into many types according to their anatomical shape, a degree of severity and stability, with or without an open wound, pathophysiological condition and so on. Let’s give a detailed introduction one by one.

Types of fractures

2 main Types of fractures according to the degree of severity.

  1. Complete fracture. The integrity or continuity of the bone is completely interrupted, and the tubularly shaped bone is broken into distal and proximal two or more fracture segments. Transverse, oblique, spiral and comminuted fractures are belonged to complete fracture.
  2. Incomplete fracture. The integrity or continuity of bone is only partially interrupted, such as linear fracture of skull, scapular and long bone, greenstick fracture in children belonged to incomplete fracture.

7 Types of fractures according to the anatomical shape.

  1. Transverse fracture: This type of bone fracture is form perpendicular to the long axis of a bone. This is the result of a force applied at a right angle to the bone.
  2. Oblique fracture: Oblique bone fracture is the slanted fracture that occurs when a force is applied at any angle other than a right angle to the bone.
  3. Spiral fracture: This is the result of an extreme twisting force being exerted on a bone.
  4. Comminuted fracture: This is the severe fracture that involves the breaking of a bone into several smaller pieces. You can check more detail information about “Comminuted fracture: Causes, Symptoms, X-ray, Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention“.
  5. Greenstick fracture: This breaks in bones along only one side of the bone caused by a force perpendicular to the bone’s long axis. Greenstick fracture is more common in children, often without breaking just bending phenomenon. Children’s bones contain more organic matter, the outer envelope of the extraosseous membrane is especially thick, so it has good elasticity and tenderness, that does not break easily. As a result, fracture caused by violence will only bend and do not break like plants. Orthopedic doctors call this special fracture a greenstick fracture.
  6. Linear Fracture: Linear fracture is generally not displaced and belong to minor fractures. The common linear fracture is the skull bony linear fracture, which occurs under the action of external force such as work injury and mine injury. This kind of fracture does not generally occur displacement, in the brain injury incidence is extremely high, often associated with intracranial cerebral parenchyma injury.
  7. Stellate fracture: This is often caused by violence directed at the face of the bone. The stellate fracture can occur in the skull and patella.
7 Types of fractures according to the anatomical shape
7 Types of fractures according to the anatomical shape

2 types according to whether the fractures area is open or not.

  1. Open fracture. If there is the open wound in the skin with the bone fracture, this called open bone fracture on medically. The bladder or urethra rupture caused by pubic fracture and rectum rupture caused by tailbone fracture are all belonged to open fracture. This fracture has a high risk of infection.
  2. Closed fracture. The bone fracture without an open wound. This fracture, like any other fracture, is characterized by swelling, purplish, local temperature rise, severe pain, limited function and appearance deformation. But the risk of infection is much lower than other fractures.

2 types of fractures according to the degree of stability.

  1. Displaced fracture. In this type of bone fracture, the bone will break apart to many parts (two or more than two parts). These parts moved from an original area so that the two ends are not lined up straight as they were.
  2. Non-displaced fracture. In a non-displaced fracture, the bone cracks either part or all of the way through, but does move and maintains its proper alignment.
displaced fracture and non-displaced fracture
displaced fracture and non-displaced fracture


2 types of fractures according to the pathophysiology condition of the bone before fracture.

  1. Traumatic fracture: the bone structure is normal, because of violence caused by fracture, called traumatic fracture.
  2. Pathological fracture: Pathological fracture is different from a general traumatic fracture. This fracture is characterized by the existence of internal factors affecting the structure of the bone itself before the fracture occurs like the bone tumor, metastatic diseases.


Orthopedic physicians can work out the different treatments plan for different types of fractures. The healing period is also different. In other articles, we will introduce each fracture type, symptoms, treatment, and prevention in detail.



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  • Written by Nurmemet, MD (Emergency Medicine Specialist)
  • Medically reviewed by Merhaba, MD (Pediatrician)



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