Fracture' is a term used to indicate that a bone is broken or cracked.

General Signs and Symptoms of a Fracture

  1. Pain at or near the site of fracture.
  2. Tenderness or discomfort on gentle pressure at the affected area.
  3. Swelling around the site of fracture.
  4. Loss of power; the injured part can't be moved properly.
  5. If the injured part is a limb, it might look deformed or won't be able to bear weight. It may assume an unnatural position.
  6. If the fracture is near the skin, irregularity of bone, may be felt.
  7. Crepitus (bony grating) may be heard or felt.
  8. There may be unnatural movement at the site of fracture.

General Rules for Treatment of Fractures

  1. Keep the patient still and do not attempt to move the patient, until the injured part is immobilised. Cover the patient with a blanket.
  2. Attend to injuries such as an open wound or bleeding before dealing with the fracture.
  3. Steady and support the injured parts at once. Protect the broken bone, especially in case of a compound or complicated fracture.
  4. If medical help is not readily available, immobilise the fracture by the use of bandages or splints. The application of bandages, using the casualty's body as a means of support, will prove adequate for normal purposes. Use a sound part of the patient's body as a splint (for example: leg to leg, arm to chest etc.); if you have to immobilize the fracture whenever possible, attach uninjured part to injured part.
  5. Place a thick towel, scarves, wool, folded towels, scarves, socks) to fill spaces between two parts of the body.
  6. Splints will be required only when there is a possibility of long or difficult transport before medical aid is available.
  7. The tie parts together with firm bandages (if bandages are not handy; use scarves, neck ties, handkerchiefs etc.).
  8. Tie knots over the uninjured part.
  9. Never apply a bandage over the site of the fracture.
  10. Bandages or slings should not be so tight that they may cut off circulation.
  11. When the casualty is lying down and it is necessary to pass a bandage round the body or limbs, double the bandage over the end of a splint or any available object and pass it under the trunk or lower limbs where there are natural hollows (the neck, loins, knees and just above heels).
  12. Don't give any food, liquid or tablets prior to arrival of medical help.
  13. If splints are used, they should be long enough to immobilise the joint, firm and wide, well padded and should be applied over the clothing.
  14. Protect the patient from shock.

Do's & Don't in case of a fracture

  • Make the patient comfortable.
  • Reassure the patient.
  • Call for an ambulance.
  • Handle the patient with care, moving only if really necessary.
  • Transport the patient to hospital slowly.


  • Get excited or panicky.
  • Move the patient, unless you have to.
  • Give the patient anything by mouth (in case an anaesthetic has to be given, when the bone is set).
  • Leave the patient alone when you send for help
  • Sit the patient upright (especially in case of a spinal injury).
  • Be in any hurry.
  • Attempt to realign the fracture yourself-you could do further damage.