Fractured bones aren’t that rare, but they’re undoubtedly hard to manage. People fracture their bones in various ways, from an accidental fall to an all-time car accident. So, depending on the accident’s circumstance and the injury’s severity, a certain amount of time to heal may be needed. But don’t despair – as long as the broken bone is protected and held in the proper position, there’s a great chance for you to get better.
Broken bones are treated differently based on each one’s case, so while some might require a cast, splint, or brace, others demand surgery and, inevitably, plates, nails, or pins. Usually, the more damage to the bone, the longer the recovery period.
There may not be a magic potion to speed up healing a fracture, but you can still adopt some simple and practical habits that will help you go through it easily and regain mobility. The progress might be slow, but results won’t cease to appear.
Here, you can find insightful information about fractures and valuable tips to speed up a bone repair, so read on:
The stages of bone healing:
- inflammatory phase
This stage happens immediately after the damage and is usually called fracture hematoma formation. At this stage, blood from vessels coagulates and forms a fracture hematoma. This is absolutely necessary not to come to an all-time infection, so you have no reason to worry. Even if some bone cells around the broken bone die, it’s perfectly normal, so you only have to be patient – it will end in about one week.
- reparative phase
The repairing stage starts within the first week after the injury and takes approximately 2 – 3 weeks, depending on the damage’s gravity. At this stage, the body forms tissue and cartilage in and around the broken bone site. The tissue develops the so-called callus at the bones’ ends, which will continue to grow until the two ends meet. It’s absolutely essential to go through this stage, as it’s the phase at which the ends of the broken bone are brought together, hence the bone is healed. Spongy bone will replace the tissue callus formed on the surface as a natural healing process.
- bone remodelling
The final phase in fracture curing is bone remodelling, and it’s milder than the previously mentioned. At this phase, sponge bone is replaced by solid, healthy bone, finalising the recovery process. More often than not, the bone surface remains a tad inflated, but time will work things out – all that matters is that you have your fracture healed and can return to your daily activities.
As you can see, the three stages of fracture healing last at least one week each, so the healing process won’t happen in no time. You have to be patient and follow your physician’s recommendations religiously. While some fractures may take only 6 weeks to heal, others require more than 10 weeks, so you only have to be patient. Fortunately (if we can name it like that), broken bone damage is quite common and manageable, as various treatment options are available. We know spending a few weeks in bed can be frustrating, but all of this is for your own good. As for the pain, this feeling will be improved and completely disappear after the repairing stage.
Types of fractures:
You’ll be surprised by the variety of breaks out there. Some of the most common include:
- stable fracture – the broken ends are somewhat lined up and scarcely misplaced
- oblique fracture – the broken ends are at an angle
- stress fracture (hairline fracture)
- transverse fracture – the broken ends are horizontally lined
- compound (open) fracture – the skin is broken by the blow, and the bone may or may not be perceptible in the wound
- comminuted fracture – the bone breaks into more than two pieces
Non-surgical vs. surgical treatment:
The very purpose of fracture treatment is to line up the bone in the right place, but this may imply different approaches based on the type and severity of the fracture. For light to mild fractures, keeping the bone from moving until it’s cured, physical therapy (at the healing stage recommended by the doctor), and medicine can be enough. In some cases, a brace, splint, or cast might be needed to support your broken bone and keep it in the correct position.
However, surgical treatment might be required for a complex fracture. The most common way of approach, in this case, is ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation), which implies repairing the broken bone with screws and plates. Another surgical option involves Intramedullary Nailing, which consists in placing a nail in the bottom cavity of the broken bone and setting it with a screw below and above the fracture. This nail promotes correct bone alignment and healing, so no matter how painful it sounds, it’s indispensable to stabilise a complex fracture.
Surgical treatment (and even non-surgical options like physical therapy) can be expensive, so you’ll need to be financially prepared. But if your break was caused by someone else’s negligence in a road traffic accident, you don’t have to fight this battle alone. According to https://www.personalinjuryclaimscare.org.uk/, you can claim compensation for an injury, including a fractured bone, if this occurred by the negligence of another party.
Apart from pain, which is the most common fracture symptom, a patient dealing with a broken bone may also experience the following:
- tenderness around the break and swelling
- deformity – the limb may appear out of place and its position a bit odd, but in many cases, this is only normal; after the repairing stage, this should resolve on its own.
- warmth around the fracture site
The above-mentioned treatment options are essential for proper healing, but here’re a few extra tips to get back to your daily life and stay in the pink while you’re at it:
- take antioxidants, ideally from foods
- exercise often if your doctor advises you so
- have a diet rich in proteins
- surround yourself with people who promote positivity and a healthy mindset during this tough period