What is the Most Commonly Broken Bone?

Any bone in the body can be fractured or broken, but certain bones are more prone to these injuries. Most of the time, the break or fracture results from a collision, fall, or other trauma.


Bones create the structure of the body through the skeletal design. Additionally, bones are essential attachment points for muscles, which allows you to move, jump, sit, lift, and grasp. Certain bones, such as the rib cage, also act as protection for the organs against damage. If you suspect that a bone is broken, it is important to seek medical treatment as quickly as possible to avoid complications.


Causes of Broken Bones


When an outside force is exerted on a bone, such as a fall or a blow, the bone structure might not hold up under the force which causes a fracture or break. If a person has weak bones, then a small amount of pressure might cause the bone to break. For example, osteoporosis means that the bones are brittle because they lack calcium. As a result, the risk of broken bones is higher.


The force of the impact can also increase the risk of a broken bone. Pressure concentrated in one location, such as the hit of a baseball bat, can sometimes cause more damage compared to the pressure that is spread over a larger area. The speed of the object and force when the impact occurs will play a role in how the bone is impacted and whether a break occurs.


#1 Most Commonly Broken Bone


The clavicle, also known as the collarbone, is the most common bone that is broken. It is located between the shoulder blade and upper ribcage. The collarbone is slender and positioned in a way that makes it easy to break in sports activities and car accidents.


Usually, the treatment involves the use of a sling for 6 – 8 weeks. It can also be helpful to use ice for the management of swelling and medication for pain relief.


Other Commonly Broken Bones

Here is a list of other bones that are commonly broken:

  • Hip: Fracturing the hip most often occurs in older adults due to arthritis and brittle bones that develop with age. Seniors have a higher risk of falling, and the hip might be the main injury. A broken hip often requires surgery and lengthy recovery time.
  • Arm: The instinct is to reach out with your arms if you are falling, which can cause a broken bone since the arm takes the brunt of the force. To prevent further damage, be careful to avoid moving the arm until you can meet with a doctor.
  • Wrist: The wrist is another common place to break when falling. It is often injured in activities such as skiing or biking. Eight bones are found in the wrist, as well as two forearm bones that can break upon impact.
  • Ankle: A broken bone in the ankle can occur if the joint is rolled, twisted, or extended unnaturally. A serious ankle injury will likely require surgery and weeks of recovery.
  • Foot: With 26 bones in the human foot, there is a high risk that something will break when the foot is injured. These injuries often occur due to impact and when gravity plays a role, such as falling or jumping. Depending on the injury, a walking cast might be used for treatment, along with crutches if weight can’t be placed on the foot during recovery.
  • Toe: Most people have experienced the shooting pain that occurs when hitting the toe on a corner or piece of furniture. In most situations, a broken toe isn’t a serious injury. Immobilization is the common recommendation since there aren’t other treatments that can be used for a broken toe.


Types of Broken Bones

The way the bone breaks can be categorized into several descriptions:

  • Oblique Break: The bone breaks at an angle
  • Comminuted: Multiple pieces of the bone are present because there are more than two parts from the fracture
  • Spiral: The break extends in a spiral pattern down the length of the bone
  • Transverse: The break moves across the bone


When the bone breaks and it penetrates through the skin, it is known as an open fracture and might require extra care to prevent infection. If the bone stays within the skin, it is known as a closed fracture.


How Can You Tell if You Have a Broken Bone?


Just because you have pain after an injury, doesn’t necessarily mean that the bone is broken. Sometimes, the muscles or tendons are injured without damage to the bone. Watch for these common signs of a broken bone:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Open wound with bone protruding
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Inability to use the hand
  • Inability to put weight on the injured foot
  • Pain worsens when trying to move that part of the body


Swelling and pain are associated with sprains and other tissue injuries, as well. The only way to know the extent of the damage is to have x-rays and a consultation with a medical specialist.


Broken Bone? Visit an Emergency Room Nearby


Proper treatment for a broken bone is critical to ensure that the bone heals correctly. Not only can an experienced medical team help with pain management, but immediate treatment can be provided to reset the bone if needed. Additionally, it is important to determine if further treatments are required, such as surgery. Our medical team can also offer recommendations to improve the long-term outcome by stabilizing the bone so it can heal.


iCare ER and Urgent Care is here to provide the immediate medical services you need. If you are injured or have other health concerns, we invite you to visit one of our nearby locations as soon as possible. We are equipped and experienced to assist with a variety of emergency medical situations, and also offer urgent care services if the ER is not necessary. Our board-certified doctors are here 24/7 to provide the assistance required in your time of need. Call any time if you have questions about the available services: (214) 407-8668.