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Broken and Fractured Bones: Symptoms & Treatment


May include the victim:

  • Hearing the bone break
  • Feeling the bone break
  • Area tender to touch (pain in one spot)
  • Swelling around suspected fracture
  • Limb in an unnatural position
  • Painful movement
  • Abnormal motion
  • Loss of function
  • Grating sensation
  • Discoloration of affected area.


  1. Call 911 or your local emergency services.
  2. DO NOT move victim until a splint has been applied unless there is danger of a life-threatening emergency. Keep victim warm and still.
  3. If a bone seems to be broken but does not pierce the skin, immobilize the limb with a splint—a rolled-up magazine, broomstick, board, or even a pillow can be used.
  4. If a broken bone pierces the skin and there is bleeding, cover wound with sterile pad or clean cloth and apply pressure to control bleeding. DO NOT try to straighten limb, return it to a natural position, or replace bone fragments. DO NOT touch wound directly. Secure a sterile pad or clean cloth firmly in place over the wound; tie with strong bandages or cloth strips but DO NOT cut off circulation. If victim complains of numbness, loosen splint.