There are quite a number of ways that a human bone can be broken. It can happen from an accident such as a fall or from a sport injury such as a brutal tackle in football. Bones also fracture and break when their calcium becomes depleted through disease or poor diet. Some diseases, like cancer and diabetes, can leave bones weakened and prone to breaking under the least bit of stress.
The basic medical terms used in dealing with bone fractures or breaks by medical professionals fall into three main categories:
A closed or simple break means the injured bone is still underneath the skin. An open break means that part of the bone has pierced the skin, which increases the chance of open wound infection.
A partial break is when a bone has a fracture in it but has not snapped completely or broken completely. A complete break, then, is one where the bone in question has been completely snapped in two.
A displaced bone break is when the pieces of the injured bone are no longer aligned, requiring a trained medical professional to intervene and set the bone fragments in their proper position. A non-displaced bone break means all the bone pieces are still aligned properly and, in many cases, can be treated without any invasive procedures.
The risk of infection at the site of the break is why physicians will normally prescribe one or more powerful antibiotics as part of the treatment plan. While keeping the injured bone(s) immobile is important, doctors now advise most patients to attempt limited activities as soon as possible, to prevent excessive muscle atrophy.