Injuries to Limbs


Fractures are broken bones which could be in any part of your body and is usually identified with a simple x-ray. This includes broken bones in your arms, legs, your face, your pelvis or hips, your back or spine and your head (scull). More information on the types of fractures can be found here.

There are several different ways of managing fractures depending on how complex they are.

Hairline fractures

This refers to only a minor crack to the bone which can be seen on an x-ray. Sometimes these fractures will require a cast to make sure the crack does not get bigger, depending on which bone the crack appears in. Hairline fractures and bones in the hands and feet often does not require a cast.

Closed fractures

Some fractures are simple and closed with not much damage to the muscles or blood vessels around the bones. These fractures often require the application of a cast to immobilise the bones while it heals. In some cases bones can move or be displaced. Doctors can use a technique called 'closed reduction' to pull the bones back into position.

Comminuted fracture

A comminuted fracture is when a bone has broken into several pieces. These type of fractures are complicated and often require surgery where plates and pins are used to align bones so that they are connected to allow healing. In some cases something called external fixation is required which could be an Ilizarov frame. This is used to stabilize bone and muscle at some distance from the actual operative site or where the bone is broken to provide stability for the bones to heal.

Open or compound fractures

These are more complicated and the bone is often exposed and there is damage to the skin and surrounding muscle. These types of fracture require surgery and can easily get infected if not treated soon after the accident. Orthopaedic and plastic surgeons use national guidelines to ensure timely management of these fractures. 


Accidents can affect your arms and legs which are often referred to as your limbs or extremities. Other than broken bones, some patients can have very severe injuries resulting in amputations. Some of the survivor stories talks about life after an amputation and several people have gone on to become famous paralympians.

The Limbless Association provides information and advice and support for people of all ages who are without one or more limbs. It has a nationwide network of volunteer visitors (within the UK) who are all amputees themselves, offering support and encouragement to prospective amputees, carers and those already trying to come to terms with limb loss or deficiency. 

Please refer to the recreation and leisure section of this website for more information on sport societies after injury.