The history of the injury provides information on the likely mechanism of injury.
The past history will identify previous injury which could confuse interpretation of the radiograph, or predisposing factors such as osteoporosis.
Frequently, there is bruising, swelling and physical deformity. Establish early whether the injury is an open fracture.
Abnormal movement and loss of function are common. The injury is often painful although this is less of a feature in skull and vertebral fractures. In the limb, pain may be elicited by bending or compressing the limb. Crepitus can often be heard between the bone ends.
Beware of mistakes easily made:
Last reviewed 01/2018