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Snap, crackle and pop… Have I broken something?

Have you had an accident and heard something go pop but, you’re not sure whether you’ve actually broken a bone.

Bones are liable to break after many different types of accident. It could be after a trip or fall, whilst playing sports, or if you’ve been involved in an accident; such as, a car accident, that causes something to impact with your bones.

Here are some of the tell-tale signs that indicate that a bone may actually be broken and isn’t just a sprain:

• It just doesn’t look right or the area has gone a weird shape
• Crippling pain
• It has swelled to two or three times its normal size
• You hear a snapping noise or something go pop!

If the bone is broken, the crippling pain is likely to be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or dizziness.

Broken bones are a serious injury and need to be handled carefully. If they’re not treated correctly and in good time, you could be prone to some quite serious infections or suffer from joint problems and a reduction in mobility.

Help…I think I have broken something. What should I do now?
For minor breaks and fractures, where the pain is more manageable and swelling is minimal, you can visit your local GP or walk-in centre. When the break is more serious, for example, when bones are protruding through the skin or the pain is unbearable you should go straight to your nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department.

With fast and proper treatment most breaks will heal well with no lasting effects. In more serious cases, you may need physiotherapy to prevent additional problems. You may also need to take up to 8 weeks off work and undergo operations to realign the bones.