What are the causes and symptoms of fractures?
Individuals with high activity levels appear to be at greater risk for fractures. This group includes children and athletes participating in contact sports. Because of an increase in bone brittleness with aging, elderly persons are also included in this high-risk population. Up to the age of 50, more men suffer from fractures than women due to occupational hazards. However, after the age of 50, women are more prone to fractures than men. Specific diseases causing an increased risk for fractures include Paget’s disease, rickets, osteogenesis imperfecta, osteoporosis, bone cancer and tumors, and prolonged disuse of a nonfunctional body part such as after a stroke. Symptoms of fractures usually begin with pain that increases with attempted movement or use of the area and swelling at the involved site. The skin in the area may be pale and an obvious deformity may be present. In more severe cases, there may be a loss of pulse below the fracture site, such as in the extremities, accompanied