Health Information Management

Brush up on types of bone fractures

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 18, 2014

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Fractures can be open or closed, displaced or nondisplaced. Different types of fractures show different characteristics.
"Do beware of the terminology within a medical record that will alert you to whether or not a fracture is open or closed," says Kristi Stanton, RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, AHIMA ICD-10 ambassador, and senior consultant with the Haugen Consulting Group in Denver.
The list of open fractures is easier to memorize because it is a lot shorter. Open fractures include anything that is compound or infected, Stanton says. "That makes sense to me, because it's open, so bacteria was able to get to the fracture site."
Other open fractures include missile fractures, puncture fractures, or any fracture that has a foreign body.
Below is a breakdown of eight different types of fractures:
  • Comminuted: a fracture in which the bone is broken in more than two pieces or fragments
  • Greenstick: an incomplete fracture with bending of the bone involving the convex side
  • Linear: a fracture that extends parallel to the long axis of a bone but does not displace the bone tissue
  • Oblique: a fracture line that runs at a diagonal along the long axis of the bone, with the bone cortices of both fragments in the same plane
  • Segmental: fracturing in two different locations or segments of the same bone
  • Spiral: a fracture caused by twisting or rotational forces, with a fracture line that twists or spirals along the long axis of the bone
  • Torus: a bending or buckling of the bone without a complete fracture that occurs only in children due to the softness of the bone
  • Transverse: a fracture line that is straight across the long axis of the bone, also described as a right angle to the long axis
Continue reading "Brush up on types of bone fractures" on the HCPro website. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have free access to this article in the August issue.

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