Simple vs Greenstick Breakups


10 ways to understand your friend’s breakup situation and study for your next anatomy/physiology test at the same time.

Guy: I don’t know if I can really see us going forward together anymore. But we can keep hanging out.

Girl: Hmm. At this point, if we split ways, let’s make it a clean break and not one of those greenstick fracture style breakups. That would just be worse for both of us.

Guy: Um, can you clarify that?

Well, not that I have personally ever landed myself in such a situation, but for anyone who maybe has, it would behoove you to have the skeletal breakup guide available for ease of understanding. Below, are 10 ways in which a breakup can resemble a musculoskeletal injury.

  1. The Simple Fracture– In simple terms, it’s a clean break based on a mutual agreement to part ways. While any breakup is painful, a simple fracture has no extra complications and healing begins shortly thereafter.
  2. The Greenstick Fracture Similar to the break of a young twig—where one side splinters and the other side bends—greenstick fractures happen in the case of the incomplete break up. For example, if a couple doesn’t see each other anymore, but they constantly text. Or, when one person requests distance and the other holds on with hopes of breaking through a soft structure boundary. “Green-sticky situation” breakups are best avoided, as they will damage tissue in the surrounding structures.
  3. The Stress FractureWhat may appear to be an unexpected snap, has actually been in the works for a long time.  Otherwise known as fatigue induced fractures, stress fractures, happen if repeated series of “small fight stressors” go unforgiven, or unrecovered, and finally one person breaks down. 
  4. The 5th Metatarsal “Jones Fracture”– Any relationship existing outside of a community, or isolated far away from the heart of the body of believers, is naturally at a higher risk; there’s an absence of both x-ray accountability and nourishing encouraging support. The prognosis for these breakups—just like the distal 5th metatarsal lacking blood flow—is a painful and prolonged healing time.
  5. The Compound Fracture– Otherwise known as the open fracture, happens if one person gets involved with a third party, or wrongly assumes the relationship is open, the breakup gets complicated in a hurry.
  6. The Pathological Fracture- No level of flying sparks will cover up for copious amounts of past baggage, festering unhealed wounds, or hidden out of control addictions. Similar to how osteoporosis affects a skeleton, a pathological problem weakens the relationship’s infrastructure until collapse. While not necessarily a lost cause, most experts recommend systemic healing as first priority.
  7. The Growth Plate Fracture- As commonly seen in college freshmen, these breakups happen when one person expresses that they have outgrown the relationship and must move on with their life.
  8. The Dislocation – If an acute conflict pulls a couple apart or out of sync, sometimes it feels so disjointing that reuniting becomes an emergency.  To be fair, many couples have a one-time dislocation and later end up happily married. But beware of repeated, on again off again occurrences. Medically speaking, after just a few dislocation episodes, the relationship loses stability and will likely continue to dislocate.
  9. The Floating Patella– If one person begins to passively drift away, but the relationship isn’t quite over, it eventually leads to communication problems and “tracking” issues. 
  10. The Open Reduction External Fixation- Not all breakups have to turn into a sobbing ceremonial farewells. Many people choose to stay friends. In the case of a preexisting external structure overlap, such as a work or school, modern medical technology makes it possible to stay cordially together.

And last, despite these long list of breakup possibilities, don’t despair. The femur can withstand more than one million kilograms per square meter of pressure!

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