Non-Displaced Bone Fracture: What Is It and How to Treat It

A forceful blow directly on your bone can cause fracture. Non-displaced bone fracture is one of the most common types of fractures. Learn the treatments and prognosis.

A broken bone is referred to as a fracture in medical term. You end up dealing with a fracture when a powerful force is applying to one of your bones. This force will make your bone to bend to an extent that it snaps and breaks. A non-displaced fracture is the one in which your bone brakes in one spot only and stays aligned. Your doctor will ask for an x-ray to confirm what type of break you have. Keep reading to learn more about it with some treatment options.

What Is a Non-Displaced Fracture?

When something hit your bone forcefully, you can develop many different types of fractures, including open, closed, non-displaced, and displaced fracture. Both non-displaced and displaced fractures explain more about how the bone breaks. When your bone snaps into two or more parts, this is called a displaced fracture. Your bone will no longer be aligned in this case. A non-displaced type of fracture is the one in which your bone cracks in only one place and doesn't move to change alignment.

You usually have a non-displaced and hairline fracture when something hits your bone forcefully. In some cases, the bone does not break completely and there will be a crack on the bone. In case of displaced fractures, your bone will shift from its original place and may even protrude from the body. Non-displaced fractures do not work that way, so they are usually not noticeable with the naked eye.

How to Treat It


As mentioned early, your bone usually does not protrude when you have a non-displaced and hairline fracture. It is therefore not easy for a person to tell if you have actually broken your bone or if there is a crack. You will need an x-ray to confirm if you have fractured your bone. In some cases, x-rays do not prove helpful, so your doctor may ask you to go for a Computed Tomography (CT) scan. Before your doctor suggests you to go for a scan, they will look for typical signs of a break, such as tenderness, stiffness, swelling, and severe pain.


As the bone remains aligned after the blow, it is usually easier to treat a non-displaced fracture as compared to a displaced fracture. Your doctor may give you pain relief medications to help reduce swelling. You may have to wear a cast or splint to prevent further damage. You have to wear it until your bone heals completely. Where you have a fracture will also determine the treatment procedure because you do not usually require protective covering if you have it on the skull.

Some fractures start as a non-displaced type but later turns into a displaced fracture. These fractures have the risk for further damage because the bone becomes misaligned when you move it. This misalignment can happen even weeks after the original break. Your doctor will monitor your original fracture carefully to ensure it does not cause any complications. You may even develop arthritis if your fracture is near one of your joints.

What’s the Outlook?

It may take several weeks or longer for your fractured bone to heal properly.  The location of your fracture and its severity will determine how long it takes to recover completely. Your recovery rate will also change when you have other injuries or medical conditions. It is important that you follow your doctor's advice for quick recovery. You feel no pain once the healing is complete.

It is important to restrict movement of the injured area while your injury is still healing. If you continue to use, this may turn it into a displaced fracture, which can complicate the whole situation. You need to bear in mind that sometimes it is important to immobilize a part of your body for quite some time, which may result in loss of muscle strength. If that is the case, you may have to go for physical therapy to regain normal muscle strength. The following is one example--manuel technique for a non-displaced Bennett fracture:

Other Types of Fracture

In addition to a displaced and non-displaced fracture, you can also sustain injuries that lead to different types of fractures. For instance:

Types of Fractures


Closed Fractures

A closed fracture occurs when your bone breaks without leaving any open wound in the skin. In other words, your bone breaks through the skin and late recedes back into the wound. It is not possible to feel it through the skin.

Open Fractures

An open fracture is the complete opposite of a close fracture. You will have open wound in the skin, so open fractures will always have the risk of developing a deep bone infection.

Greenstick Fractures

This type of a fracture refers to an incomplete fracture. Your bone only bends but does not break completely. It is more common in children.

Transverse Fractures

You have a transverse fracture when your broken bones come at a right angle to the bone's axis.

Oblique Fractures

You have an oblique fracture when the break is in a sloped or curved pattern.

Comminuted Fractures

You have a comminuted fracture when your bone brakes into several pieces.

Buckled Fractures

You have a buckled fracture when the ends of your bones drive into each other. It is also called an impacted fracture and is seen in arm fractures in children.

Stress Fractures

You may develop a stress fracture when there is no break and you only have a hairline crack.

The location and the damage done to the bone as well as nearby tissue determine the severity of a fracture. When left untreated, fractured can lead to several complications. The most common complications are infection of the bone/surrounding tissue and damage to nerves or blood vessels. Recovery time will depend greatly on the severity of a fracture as well as your age and overall health. While a minor fracture may heal in a few weeks, a serious infection may take months to heal completely.



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