Catherine Gillespie knows how it feels to break a bone.
A lead physician assistant in the emergency department at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital, Gillespie fractured her knee a few years ago.
Often, a broken bone is fairly obvious – in Gillespie’s case, for example, she heard a “crack.” Other signs can include bone exposure through the skin, bruising, swelling, numbness or tingling, deformity or crepitus, which is a feeling of broken pieces of bone rubbing together under the skin.
Sometimes, though, the injury is less obvious. For example, an X-ray may be necessary to diagnose a hairline fracture in the foot.
If you think you’ve broken a bone, Gillespie advises seeking prompt medical care, especially if the break has punctured the skin.
“That type of break needs to be addressed through surgery immediately,” she says.