Enquire NowCall Back Whatsapp Lab report/login
What All You Should Know About Transverse Fracture?

Home > Blogs > What All You Should Know About Transverse Fracture?

What All You Should Know About Transverse Fracture?

Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement | Posted on 12/06/2022 by Dr. Aashish K. Sharma



Do you ever experience an inability to move a part of your body often? If yes, then you must know that it can indicate the signs of transverse fracture. The most common reason behind this fracture includes incidents or traumas like falling off etc. So, if you are overlooking the problem, then you must not and should get in touch with the doctor for the right treatment.

If you aren’t aware of the condition, then stay tuned as this write-up will elaborate on everything about the transverse fracture.

What is a transverse fracture?

A transverse fracture is a broken bone type that involves functioning opposite the direction of your bone. It is mainly referred to as a complete fracture which implies that the line of the breakage goes all the way through your bone. This condition mostly involves affecting long bones in the body. The most affected parts of the body are the thigh, shin, calf, upper arm, forearm, and collarbone.

Are there any symptoms of a transverse fracture?

Yes, there are certain symptoms of transverse fracture that one must not be ignored. It is important to get in touch with the doctor at the earliest. The symptoms of transverse fracture are pain, swelling, tenderness, inefficiency to move any part of your body, bruising, discoloration, and deformity or bump that is unusual for you.

How does transverse fracture occur?

Transverse fractures among young individuals occur because of some kind of collision that is of high energy. It is usually experienced by individuals when there is a breakage in the bone perpendicular to its length. The pattern of fracture is a straight line functioning in the opposite bone direction. It can happen to any bone present in the body, however, the target is mostly the long bones after a fall or incident.

What are the transverse fracture causes?

One of the common transverse fracture causes includes motor vehicle crashes or motorcycle incidents of the femoral shaft fracture. Another main cause of transverse fracture is being hit by a car while walking. Other factors contributing to transverse fracture include falling from heights, gunshot wounds, etc. Older people can experience the problem due to lower-force accidents or falling due to standing for a long period.

How serious is a transverse process fracture?

Transverse process fractures are among the spinal fracture type and the process is a bone projection on the vertebrae side i.e. the bones that involve making up your spinal column. They are often caused by traumas due to any other broken bone type. There are other factors contributing to the transverse process fractures. One of them is osteoporosis which leads to the weakening of the bones without an individual’s knowledge. Transverse process fracture can occur in any part of the spine but is common in the lower back.

Is transverse fracture painful?

Yes, a transverse fracture is painful and people with this condition can also experience issues like pain, swelling, or tenderness. Some individuals can experience transverse process fracture complications that involve acute compartment syndrome. It is a painful condition that causes pressure within the muscles to grow to hazardous levels. There might be a requirement for surgical emergencies as well in severe cases. It is recommended that individuals who experience pain should get in touch with an orthopedic professional.

What is the process for diagnosing transverse fracture?

The healthcare provider will involve physical evaluation and some imaging tests for appropriate transverse fracture diagnosis:

  • The doctor will ask about the medical history of an individual suffering from a transverse fracture. It will help the doctor to identify the cause depending on the symptoms and the right treatment can be given.
  • The X-ray will be ordered by the doctor for the fracture's confirmation and to view the severity of the damaged bones.
  • Magnetic resource imaging test or MRI is also recommended so that doctors can have a clear picture of the damaged bones and the areas across them. It will also help in viewing the tissues around bones. The doctor would be able to identify and confirm if there is an injury to the organs, muscles, and connective tissues.
  • CT scan is ordered when there are transverse fracture complications and the only treatment is surgery. It will assist the doctor to understand the severity of damaged bones. They can have a comprehensive picture of bones and the tissues surrounding the area. CT scan is also required when X-rays are inconclusive as the surgeon can plan the surgery accordingly.

How are transverse fractures treated?

The treatment for transverse process fracture entirely relies on broken bone damage. Once the doctor identifies the severity and causes behind the damage, the doctor will involve a few treatment options.

Immobilization

It is one of the treatment methods that the doctor will include. It is recommended when the bones haven’t moved out of their places and the fracture is minor. To treat the problem, there might be a requirement for a cast or splint only. Splinting lasts for more than three to five weeks whereas cast is longer i.e.eight weeks. For both, the doctor will order x-rays to ensure that transverse process fracture recovery is going fine.

Closed reduction

Closed reduction treatment is given when there is a need of realigning the bones. In this non-surgical process, the doctor will follow by pushing and pulling the body on the outside for lining up the broken bones. The doctor will prevent you from pain during the process by giving you:

  • Local anaesthesia so that the area around the fracture is numb.
  • Sedatives are given so that the body is relaxed.
  • General anesthesia is given so that you can sleep during the process.

Transverse fracture surgery

The doctor will recommend the following surgery option for transverse process fracture:

  • Internal fixation: The surgery is recommended in severe cases which involve realignment of the bones in their exact position. It helps in securing the bones in place. There are techniques of internal fixation which are rods, plates, screws, pins, and wires. Some people are there who always have to live with these pieces inserted in their bodies. Once the surgery is done, the doctor will recommend following up for their removal.

Medications

The doctor will suggest certain over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin. The professional will speak to you about the medications which are useful in reducing the pain after surgery. You can anticipate some side effects of NSAIDs such as bleeding, ulcers, bowel complications, and stomach pain.

Final thoughts

Transverse fracture recovery might take around six to eight weeks, even if there is a need for surgery for bone repair. You need to ensure going slow and following the recovery plan. There is no doubt that it might take months for getting back to your normal routine and activities, but you should not rush your body when it is in the healing process. It can cause complications and even completely damage the fractured bones.

Ensure getting in touch with your doctor to understand the ways that can help you with keeping your bones strong and healthy. You must also get bone density screening done often especially if you are more than 50 and have an osteoporosis family history.

FAQs

Is a stress fracture a transverse break?

Transverse fractures usually occur because of the forceful action applied perpendicular to the bone's long axis. It might also occur because of the stress fracture involving microscopic breaks forming in the bone from monotonous stress like running.

What does a transverse fracture feel like?

If an individual has a transverse fracture, then he/she can come across sudden pain in the spine due to injury, decreased motion in the spine range, pain while trying to bend, or twist, and tenderness.

Do transverse fractures need surgery?

The primary cause of transverse fractures is traumas such as accidents and falls, so in severe cases, there might be a need for surgery for bone repair. Some individuals might only require a cast or splint for bone healing.