Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara

Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine located in Santa Barbara, CA & Solvang, CA

Although some patients may be at a higher risk than others, anyone can sustain a bone fracture. Fractures can cause severe pain and swelling and drastically limit your mobility. At the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara, William R. Gallivan, MD, and his team provide high-quality, effective fracture care. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a fracture, book an appointment at the Santa Barbara, California, office by phone or online today.


What is a fracture?

A fracture is a break or crack in the bone, which can occur in any part of the body. Fractures are very common, affecting millions of patients each year. Fractures are caused by excessive force, stress, or trauma to the body. 

Although your bones are highly resilient, as you age, they can sustain less force, increasing your risk for fractures. Highly active children are also at a higher risk for fractures. 

What are the symptoms of a fracture?

Your symptoms depend on the severity and location of your fracture. Symptoms of fractures can include:

  • Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Visible deformity
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Tenderness

If you experience any of these symptoms, visit the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara to receive the right treatment for your condition. The team provides personalized treatment plans designed to optimize your recovery and restore maximum function to your injured bone. 

What are the different types of fractures?

Not all fractures look the same. Bones can break and crack in a number of different ways. Common types of fractures include:

Closed fracture

A closed fracture is a broken or cracked bone that does not break through the skin. Closed fractures can be difficult for patients to identify. Closed fractures are often accompanied by severe pain and deformity to the injured area. 

Open fracture

An open fracture is a broken or cracked bone that breaks through the skin. Open fractures that are infected are referred to as compound fractures. Compound fractures are complex conditions that require treatment of the infection and the fractured bone for proper recovery. 

Stress fracture

Stress fractures are very common in highly active patients. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone caused by overuse and excessive repetitive force. 

Your bones naturally adapt to extra weight and force, but too much at once puts too much stress on the bones, sometimes causing a fracture. Stress fractures can cause mild discomfort that gradually worsens over time and are most common in the legs and feet. 

How are fractures treated?

The first step in treating your fracture is a physical exam. Your doctor checks the affected area for tenderness, bruising, and deformities. They then use X-rays to determine the type of fracture you have. 

Once diagnosed, your doctor determines the best method for treatment. Fracture treatment involves two steps: fracture reduction and immobilization. 

Fracture reduction is the process of setting or realigning the bone. You may require pins, plates, rods, or screws to set the bone properly. Once the bone is realigned, a splint or cast is used to immobilize the area. Bone healing is a natural process, so the bone must be properly aligned to avoid misalignment, limited movement, deformities, and infection.

To speak with an orthopedic specialist about your fracture, book an appointment at the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara by phone or online today.