A broken bone or bone fracture occurs when a force exerted against a bone is stronger than it can structurally withstand.

Bones are a form of connective tissue, reinforced with calcium and bone cells. Bones have a softer centre, called marrow, where blood cells are made. The main functions of the skeleton include support, movement and protection of vulnerable internal organs.

There are different types of bone fractures that vary in severity. Factors that influence severity include the degree and direction of the force, the particular bone involved, and the person's age and general health.

Common sites for bone fractures include the wrist, ankle and hip. Hip fractures occur most often in elderly people. Broken bones take around four to eight weeks to heal, depending on the age and health of the individual, and the type of break.


The symptoms of a bone fracture depend on the particular bone and the severity of the injury, but may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformity
  • Inability to use the limb

Information courtesy of The Better Health Channel.