Our bones have high compressive strength but poor tensile strength. This means that it can take forces acting on it in a compressive manner. However, it will crack or break if high impact forces are acted on it suddenly. Our bones also store essential minerals such as calcium and will release to the body when it detects a calcium deficit. A fracture is an orthopaedic condition that is hard to diagnose without proper radiography methods and when a fracture is suspected, it should be treated as a fracture unless otherwise diagnosed. Green stick fractures are partially broken bones and it is a partial fracture while a complete fracture occurs when the bone is snapped into two pieces. A compound fracture is indicative by a protrusion of the fractured bone through the skin. Immediate first aid should be administered to it.
Remove items on the injured area
The first thing that should be done is the removal of items around the injured area. If an ankle fracture is suspected, the shoes and socks should be removed immediately. This is because the ankle will start to swell up immediately and the longer the delay is, the more swollen it will be. This will lead to difficulties in removing the shoes later. If the injured person is wearing jeans, you will need to cut open the bottom of the jeans to allow excess space.
Stop the bleeding and disinfect the wound
Attempt to stop the bleeding using sterile gauze. Use disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic creams or iodine to cleanse the area and if there is foreign debris, it should be rinsed under water. If bone protrusion or awkward bone locations are observed, you should not attempt to move the patient or it may lead to more serious complications.
Immobilise the patient
You can immobilise the patient using items that are nearby. Things such as ski poles, rods, thick tree branches can be used to superimpose them on the inside and outside of the leg. The main reason behind this is to prevent any further movements of the injured part and minimise further tissue damages. Whenever possible, always try to get them onto a stretcher.
After you have done the above steps, use ice packs to bring down the swelling and reduce inflammation. This will help to reduce pain and make things more bearable. If it appears too serious, you should seek medical help for the patient immediately.
Above is some of the basic first aid for fractured lower limbs. If the fracture appears mild, medical help is often not required. To further reduce swelling, pain relief medication can be taken orally.