Ancient bonesetters have known for centuries that broken bones are painful to touch. Pain in response to touch or palpation of the fracture is accurately called fracture tenderness. The bonesetters also recognized that palpating the bone for the area of maximal tenderness would allow them to determine the fracture site quite accurately. Further they knew the limb containing the fracture (broken bone) was manipulated false motion in the limb on related to a joint could be detected because of motion at the fracture site. In addition motion at the fracture site also called crepitus, the Latin word for rattling or creaking at the site of injury could be detected when fractures were manipulated3.
Related Signs and Tests
Diagnostic Performance Characteristics