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Thread: non weight bearing and breaking bones

  1. #21
    Senior Member PC720's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    Memphis Tennessee
    how do you know when a bone breaks?

  2. #22
    Diagnosing fractures in someone with SCI can be very tricky. There may be swelling (not immediate, but after several hours), but this needs to be considered along with other causes of swelling such as a DVT, dependent edema, or even too tight of a leg bag strap. Some people will have pain (if they are incomplete) but of course that is inconsistent. Many people hear the bone break if it occurs in a quiet environment (I have heard this myself). AD can occur also, often delayed several hours after the event. Rarely is the limb angulated (bent at the fracture site instead of just at the joint), but that obviously would be an important sign to look for if it is there.

    We have a high level of suspicion with any fall, and don't hesitate to get Xrays if a patient reports a fall.


  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by PC720 View Post
    how do you know when a bone breaks?
    Assuming you are referring to a limb:

    You may hear a dull snapping sound when it occurs.

    Redness, swelling...sometimes mistaken for a DVT. It is always best to er on the safe side and get an x-ray of the area.

    The part of the limb beyond the break may rotate more than usual.

    High level SCIs may experience AD and an increase in spasticity.

    In some extreme instances the bone may protrude through the muscle/skin.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

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  4. #24
    Senior Member PC720's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    Memphis Tennessee
    the reason I ask is because I have heard my hips snap and pop several times. I get xrays but they tell me there's nothing wrong. I know I have osteoarthritis and the orthopedic surgeon told me the discomfort I feel in my hips is probably from excess stretching. as of right now its far as I know I do not have any broken bones but I would like to be proactive

  5. #25
    Joint popping can also be an indication of a joint dislocation; or just a popping joint. That sound is pretty different than the "snap" I have heard with bone fractures.


  6. #26
    Senior Member marvin_cr's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Des Moines, Iowa
    All 4 of my lower leg breaks, I heard the crack

  7. #27
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Massachusetts, USA

  8. #28
    My daughter is 11, is osteoporotic and a very active and even though she stands daily she has has 2 fractures but both have causes. the first was ramming into the tables at school- right at her knee level-fractured femur jut above knee and the second was while in stirrups on a horse another horse bumped up against her and push the ankle inwards. it was what they call an avulsion fracture which means cracked on one side of the bone and bent on the other. if she was wearing her AFO's (foot and ankle splints ) she probably would have been fine. Both times it was days before we realized. swelling and general bad form including tummy pain. both times she was casted bivalved and heeled after 4 weeks.was allowed to stress joint by standing stretching straight away. We have started FES but lucky to do once a week. this post may encourage me to do more but difficult to get a child interested. Standing good for bowel and bladder and spasms.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Wills77's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Harrisburg PA
    I've had back pain for a long time and figured it was due to always sitting. Then the pain got way worse so I got it checked out and had compression fractures to my t12, l2 and l3 vertebrae. My doctors determined that the fractures were old. I figure I started feeling the pain now due to being incomplete and regaining more sensation. I still don't know how it happened though. In the 4 years since my sci my only falls have been flipping my chair over backwards 2 times.

    Will using leg braces with a walker help bone density? When I use my hkafo braces I lift myself up and swing both legs forward at once. Almost like I'm hopping
    c6 inc since 2-19-11
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  10. #30
    Compression fractures are most likely found in areas of your spine near the areas of spinal fusions or where the original spinal cord injury occurred. Many times occurring in the part of the spine where the bones are the most vulnerable. Pain medication and calcitonin spray are two medications that are helpful for treatment

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