An x ray image of a broken bone

How to Know if Your Bone is Broken

Broken bones can sometimes be tricky to self-diagnose. On the one hand, you could stub your toe and feel a level of pain that convinces you that it’s broken even when it’s not. On the other hand, you may be surprised to learn that it’s not uncommon for someone to walk around with a broken bone without realizing it. This is especially concerning because an untreated broken bone has the potential to mend at an incorrect angle that can leave you immobile or less capable. While the best way to truly know if your bone is broken is to visit your doctor, we’ve compiled a list of the most common signs of broken bones. 

Hearing or feeling a snap

One of the first signs of a broken bone that you may experience can occur at the very moment the bone breaks. As soon as the injury occurs, you may hear or feel a snap or a crunch. This is usually the first indication of the broken bone. After the initial break, you may also be able to feel crunchiness underneath the skin, which is a sign that broken pieces of bone are rubbing against each other.

Bruising or discoloration

Following the initial breaking of the bone, bruising and swelling is very common. Large bruising is due to the blood escaping from the capillaries within the damaged tissues. 


When a bone is broken, it is typically incredibly painful to touch, press, move, or put weight on it. A good way to see if the bone is broken is to try and move the injured body part. While tenderness is common with bruising of any kind, the tenderness of a broken bone is usually far more intense. 

Loss of function

In addition to not being able to move your injury due to pain, a broken bone may also make it so you’re physically incapable of moving your body part due to the fracture of the bone. If you are able to move it but feel pain, it’s probably not broken. If you have a complete loss of function, however, this is usually indicative of a broken bone.


If you need a clear indication of a broken bone, deformity is a sure signifier to help you know that your bone is broken. If your bone is ever bending in an abnormal direction, this means that it is definitely broken. In some cases, the bone may also be poking out of the skin, which means that it is either dislocated or broken. 

After you’ve broken a bone, it’s not uncommon to feel faint, sick, or dizzy as a result of the shock. If you suspect your bone is broken, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. If a broken bone isn’t corrected right away, you may be subjecting yourself to the possibility of developing an infection or a permanent deformity. 

Broken bones that are not realigned and healed properly may also create long-term joint problems. As you grow older, it’s important to be extra careful, as bones become weaker with age. 

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions about the broken bones, or bone health call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.