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What are the main causes a bone fracture?

Causes of Bone Fractures

Causes of Bone Fractures

A bone fracture occurs when a bone breaks, usually as a result of trauma or due to a medical condition that weakens the bones. Bone fractures are very common injuries, with around 6.8 million occurring annually in the United States. Understanding what can cause bones to break is important for prevention and treatment. If you experience a bone fracture, it is recommended to consult with the best orthopedic doctors in Chennai specializing in bone health for evaluation and treatment guidance.

Traumatic Fractures

The most common cause of bone fractures is physical trauma, leading to what is known as a traumatic fracture. Traumatic fractures occur when the bone is impacted with a force or load that is stronger than the bone itself. Common causes include:

  • Falls – Falling from a standing height or higher places immense force and impact on bones that can cause fractures. Wrists, hips, and vertebrae are common sites.
  • Automobile Accidents – The sudden deceleration in a car crash transmits intense energy to bone, often shattering bones in the limbs or skeleton.
  • Sports Injuries – The impacts from tackling, collisions, or extreme twisting can overload bones and lead to stress or traumatic fractures depending on the force applied.
  • Gunshot or Stabbing Injuries – The bullet or weapon pierces and fractures the bone directly. The blast effect from gunshots also damages bone tissue.

Non-traumatic and Pathological Fractures

There are also non-traumatic causes of bone fractures originating from underlying health conditions:


The most common cause of non-traumatic fractures is osteoporosis, which is a disease that weakens bones through degradation and loss of bone mineral density. Due to thinner bone structure, minor falls or even actions like bending over can cause spontaneous fractures. The hips, wrists, and vertebrae are common osteoporotic fracture sites.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Lacking key bone nutrients can lead to loss of bone mass. Deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K negatively impact bone matrix production and regeneration leading to weakened bones prone to fracturing.

Bone Cancer

Cancer originating in the bone tissue prevents the proper growth and turnover of healthy bone. As cancerous lesions expand, old bone becomes brittle and fractures through areas impacted by tumors.

Bone Infection

Infections like osteomyelitis cause inflammation that destroys areas of bone over time. Pus buildup and abnormal bone resorption thin the infected bone until fractures result.

Other Diseases

Many diseases affect bone remodeling and density leading to easier fracturing. These include hyperparathyroidism, scurvy, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget’s disease of bone and bone cysts. The mechanisms vary but typically involve imbalanced resorption during bone turnover.

Prevention through Understanding Causes

While accidental traumatic fractures will continue to occur, being aware of the mechanisms by which bone is weakened by disease can help guide screening and preventative health choices. Ensuring adequate nutrition and hormone levels and treating infections and tumors earlier protects bone integrity. Identifying high fracture risks guides treatment using bone-strengthening medicines in many cases. Staying aware of health factors impacting bone health remains key to avoiding pathological fractures among older adults especially. With knowledge of how bones fracture, many are preventable through proactive actions throughout life supporting skeletal system strength and resilience.


In most cases, bone fractures occur either via intense traumatic impacts exceeding bone strength or when the bone itself is weakened by an underlying health condition. Recognition of both trauma mechanisms and diseases linked to bone loss or excessive turnover is critical to guide treatment decisions and support prevention initiatives protecting bone health and fracture rates in all age groups. If struggling with a bone fracture, consulting an orthopedic specialist at top hospitals in Chennai is advisable to receive proper medical care and advice for healing and prevention of future fractures.

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