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Most people never see a bone unless they experience broken bones in their lifetime. A bone is living tissue in the body that is comprised of two components. The ends of the bone and the interior of bones are made of trabecular bone and the outside portion of the bone is called cortical. You have short bones, long bones, flat bones and lots of bones with unusual shapes. It is amazing how all these bones come together to form the flexible and moving skeleton.
Bones are hard and usually must endure trauma before breaking. There are medical conditions though, such as osteoporosis, which can cause bones to unexpectedly break. Broken bones are called fractures and can be mere rifts in the bones or a complete break. Naturally the worse the break, the more it hurts, especially if its an open fracture. In an open fracture, the bones has broken through the skin. Of course, some people actually break a bone and do not know it is broken. The pain is more like an ache so they ignore the problem until it worsens.
Broken bones are traumatic. The body is a system and everything is interconnected. When a bone breaks it can cause the whole body to go into shock. Most people do not really understand how to deal with a broken bone. Most first aid kits are designed for skin trauma, but that is as deep as the emergency care goes. It is the initial handling of the broken bones that can make a big difference in how quickly the bone heals.
When you believe someone may have one or more broken bones, the first thing to do is convince the person to lie still. Until you know exactly which bones are broken, you do not want the person to move and potentially cause more damage. People have been known to cause additional trauma to surrounding soft tissue as a result of improperly moving the bones.
In real life situations, most people who suspect a leg or arm bone has been broken usually have someone drive them to the hospital. If you do this the broken bones should be stabilized by immobilizing the bone area. For example, a pillow can be gently held under an arm for a cushion and support. If you suspect any of the broken bones are in the skull, neck or back, the person should not be moved at all. In this case, calling the emergency responders is the correct procedure.
Of course, there are some broken bones they can do very little to help. If you break your tailbone or small tail bone, the cure is allowing enough time for healing. The bones are inaccessible to splints or casts. If you go camping a lot or indulge in sports which frequently cause injuries, your first aid kit should contain field bone cast material for temporary aid.
Broken bones can be very painful, but with proper first aid, long term damage can often be prevented.
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