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There are primarily two types of fractures: closed fractures and open fractures. In a closed fracture, even though the bone is broken, the skin is unharmed. In an open fracture, there is a deep injury that exposes the bone through the skin. A compound fracture carries the risk of infection because the fragments of bone stick out of the skin.

In most cases of open fracture, the broken bone is seen easily by the medical practitioner. An X- ray is usually done. Sometimes a series of x-rays need to be taken from different angles to diagnose certain kinds of fracture like the rib fracture. Also an open fracture entails bleeding which needs to be kept under control. Doctors prescribe antibiotics to reduce the possibility of an infection.

Reduction of a fracture means restoring the broken back to its original position. The fundamental goal in treating fractures is to restore the broken bone to its original position, and then rendering it immobile. In case of a displacement, the bone should be restored to its original position with the help of cast or a splint. Once the bone is returned to its original position, it can then heal. Many times a surgeon may need to perform surgery for fracture reduction.