A broken leg or leg fracture can cause severe pain and be swollen or bruised. When you break a leg, usually, you won’t be able to walk. If the fracture is severe, the leg might look in an odd shape, and bone may even be poking out of the skin. Typically, you will hear a crack sound during your leg breaks, and the pain can lead to fainting, dizziness, or sickness.
Types of fracture
Some broken bones are more severe than others; it usually depends on the fracture’s location, the reason, and the damage to surrounding tissues. The common types of fracture are:
- Stress fracture: Small cracks in the bone due to overuse, common among athletes.
- Hairline or undisplaced fracture: A fracture through the bone, with minor damage to surrounding tissue
- Displaced fracture: The two parts of the broken bone misaligned
- Comminuted fracture: The bone shattered into several pieces
- Compound or open fracture: A complicated break where the bone breaks through the skin, or the initial injury exposes the fractured bone
What to do?
If you or someone else has broken their leg, immediately go to your emergency room or hospital or call for an ambulance if the injury is severe. While you are waiting for the help to arrive:
- Don’t move the injured leg; keep it straight and place a cushion or clothing beneath for support.
- Don’t try and realign any bones that are out of place.
- Cover open wounds with a sterile dressing or clean cloth and maintain direct pressure on the wound if you are bleeding.
If the injured person is cold, sweaty, or pale (in shock), lie down and keep them calm and warm until medical help arrives.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022