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A broken bone is the common term for what doctors call a fractured bone, or simply a fracture. A broken bone is a bone that no longer has the same shape it normally does. Bones can be broken in a number of ways. This can include a straight break directly across the bone, a diagonal break through the bone, a crushing injury to the bone, when the bone is broken into several pieces or fragments, and when bones are driven together crushing parts of one another. In addition, broken bones can be closed or open. A closed break means the skin is not broken. An open break means the skin is broken and the bone may be sticking out of the skin. Open breaks are also called compound breaks, and there's an additional risk of infection with this kind of break.