pathological fracture

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Related to pathological fracture: stress fracture

pathological fracture

pathologic fracture

A fracture that would not otherwise occur were it not for pathological weakening of the bone due to osteoporosis, metastasis, infection, metabolic disorders or other systemic or local disease.

pathological fracture

A fracture of a diseased or weakened bone caused by a force that would not have fractured a healthy bone. The underlying disease may be a metastasized cancer, primary cancer of the bone, or osteoporosis.

Patient care

The limbs and joints of at-risk patients are gently and carefully supported when repositioning, exercising, or mobilizing. If such patients fall or are injured, and report limb, pelvic, or back pain or inability to bear weight, the patient and the affected limb should be stabilized and - diagnostic imaging obtained.

See also: fracture


1. the breaking of a part, especially a bone.
2. a break in the continuity of bone. Fractures may be caused by trauma, by twisting due to muscle spasm, or indirect loss of leverage or by disease that results in decalcification of the bone.

avulsion fracture
separation of a small fragment of bone cortex at the site of attachment of a ligament or tendon.
blow-out fracture
fracture of the orbital floor caused by a sudden increase of intraorbital pressure due to traumatic force; the orbital contents herniate into the maxillary sinus so that the inferior rectus or inferior oblique muscle may become incarcerated in the fracture site, producing diplopia on looking up.
capillary fracture
one that appears on a radiograph as a fine, hairlike line, the segments of bone not being separated; sometimes seen in fractures of the skull.
closed fracture
one that does not produce an open wound.
comminuted fracture
one in which the bone is splintered or crushed.
complete fracture
one involving the entire cross-section of the bone.
compound fracture
see open fracture (below).
compression fracture
one produced by compression.
contaminated fracture
see open fracture (below).
depressed fracture
fracture of the skull in which a fragment is depressed. See also depression fracture.
direct fracture
one at the site of injury.
dislocation fracture
fracture of a bone near an articulation with concomitant dislocation of that joint.
double fracture
fracture of a bone in two places.
fissure fracture
a crack extending from a surface into, but not through, a long bone.
greenstick fracture
one in which one side of a bone is broken, the other being bent.
impacted fracture
fracture in which one fragment is firmly driven into the other.
incomplete fracture
one that does not involve the complete cross-section of the bone.
indirect fracture
one at a point distant from the site of injury.
interperiosteal fracture
greenstick or incomplete fracture.
intrauterine fracture
fracture of a fetal bone incurred in utero.
lead pipe fracture
one in which the bone cortex is slightly compressed and bulged on one side with a slight crack on the other side of the bone.
malunion fracture
a large space between the displaced ends of the bone has been filled by new bone.
nonunion fracture
there is still a wide translucent space between the ends of the broken bone.
oblique fracture
a common type, usually seen in the shaft of a long bone, such as the femur, tibia or humerus.
Enlarge picture
Oblique fractures of the radius and ulna. By permission from Lamb CR, Diagnostic Imaging of the Dog and Cat, Mosby, 1993
open fracture
one in which a wound through the adjacent or overlying soft tissues communicates with the site of the break; called also compound fracture. A classification system has been used which is based on the mechanism of injury and the extent of tissue damage. In type I, a bone fragment was briefly forced through the skin leaving a communicating wound; type II fractures are caused by impact and there is damage to overlying tissues and exposure of the bone; in type III, there is extensive damage and loss of overlying tissues, including shearing and degloving wounds, with loss of vascular supply.
pathological fracture
one due to weakening of the bone structure by pathological processes, such as neoplasia, osteomalacia or osteomyelitis.
pertrochanteric fracture
fracture of the femur passing through the greater trochanter.
Salter fracture
saucer fracture
creates a saucer-shaped fragment; caused usually by direct trauma at midshaft in a long bone. Likely to create a sequestrum.
simple fracture
closed fracture.
slab fracture
one in which a flat piece of underlying bone or tooth is separated or lost. Common in carpal bones of horses and in teeth.
spiral fracture
one in which the bone has been twisted apart.
spontaneous fracture
pathological fracture.
sprain fracture
the separation of a tendon from its insertion, taking with it a piece of bone. See also avulsion fracture (above).
stellate fracture
one with a central point of injury, from which radiate numerous fissures.
stress fracture
fracture produced by the stress created by the pull of muscles without the intervention of trauma or extreme weight-bearing.
trabecular fracture
there is no discontinuity of the bone as a whole but microscopic examination shows fractured trabeculae.
transverse fracture
one at right angles to the axis of the bone.
trophic fracture
one due to a nutritional (trophic) disturbance.
References in periodicals archive ?
None of the patients had pathological fractures after the operation.
Ante-grade intramedullary nailing is a safe and efficient way to treat humeral shaft pathological fracture.
Treatment of pathological fractures of long tubular bones in childhood using stable intra medullar nailing.
Pathological fractures are not a sign of terminal disease and so prophylactic fixation with internal stabilisation and radiotherapy to prevent progression are viable options (Haberman & Lopez 1989) (Figure 4).
Patients with advanced cancer not infrequently sustain fractures to the neck of femur, both pathological and non-pathological and, whilst the management of pathological fractures in patients with malignancy has been investigated, there has been no previous work on the population in palliative care units, i.
3) Clinically, patients usually present during the first decade of life, exhibiting arthralgias, palpable bony masses, asymmetry, and/or extremity shortening with or without pathological fractures.
Decision was made to perform CT and MR imaging to make further evaluations and to ascertain whether or not there was an underlying pathological fracture.
Traumatic pathological fracture and abnormal bone remodeling are several of the orthopaedic manifestations of the autosomal recessive disorder, Gaucher disease, examined here, predominantly, through a review of type 1 chronic disease.
A 78-year-old woman with metastatic disease of unknown primary presented for intramedullary fixation of a pathological fracture of her right femur.
Does a pathological fracture affect the prognosis in patients with osteosarcoma of the extremities?
Pathological fracture at presentation was found in 3 (12.
As in this case, 10% of patients have a pathological fracture.

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