Life After a Fracture

Life After a Fracture

Did you know you had about 270 bones in your body when you were born? However, some bones fuse together as we grow, leaving us with between 206-213 bones by the time we reach adulthood. But, whether you have 270 bones or 206, they can all get broken or cracked. And, if that happens, you’re left with pain, loss of function, and less strength and structure in the bone itself.

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida, P.A.Dr. Edward R. Dupay, Jr., has spent his career treating bone fractures all over the body, including those caused by traumatic events, stress-related injuries, and underlying conditions like osteoporosis.

No matter what’s to blame for your fracture, Dr. Dupay knows these injuries can completely derail your life. Fortunately, taking the right steps after your fracture can improve your long-term outcomes.

What to do when you break a bone

First, not all bone fractures are the same, and they don’t require a traumatic accident like a fall. Instead, you can also develop fractures from overuse, repetitive stress, or disease. As a result, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of a problem, such as:

If you think you could have a broken bone, get medical care as quickly as possible to ensure optimal healing.

How broken bones get treated

A broken bone requires specific types of treatment to heal properly. This can vary significantly based on fracture severity and location. 

The most commonly broken bones include:

Treating a broken bone often involves putting it back into its ideal position and immobilizing it with a splint or cast to limit movement while you heal. Dr. Dupay could also place rods, screws, plates, or other internal devices to add stability to the area.

Healing from a broken bone

Once your broken bone gets diagnosed and treated, you can usually expect it to take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to heal, depending on your age, overall health, and the type and severity of your break. The healing process involves three stages.

The inflammatory phase

This phase kicks off the healing process, and starts immediately after the injury. Also known as fracture hematoma formation, the inflammatory phase lasts approximately a week and blood starts clotting around the break, forming a fracture hematoma.

The repairing phase

During this stage, your body starts making new tissue and cartilage in and around the break. This stage is also known as the reparative phase, and the tissue begins forming a soft collar — or calluses — on each broken bone to stabilize the fracture, and it continues to grow until the ends meet. 

Bone remodeling

Finally, a fracture enters the bone remodeling process, and solid bone starts replacing the spongy bone formed during the repairing phase.

You can usually expect physical therapy to be part of your treatment plan to help you regain strength and flexibility at the injury site.

Life after a fracture

While broken bones can heal back together, this bone often isn’t as strong as before, especially for people 65 and older. In fact, the people with the highest risk of fractures are those who just recovered from one.

Because of this, Dr. Dupay works closely with each of the people in his care to identify potential risk factors related to bone health, like osteoporosis. Taking this personalized approach ensures he can also support your recovery with therapies that include:

Dr. Dupay also recommends quitting smoking, a habit that can significantly impact the healing process.

Have you broken a bone? Help keep your life on track after fracture by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Dupay at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida, P.A. in Fort Myers today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Complications of Trigger Finger

Do you have a snapping or popping sensation in your finger or thumb? Are your symptoms worse in the morning? These are just a few signs of trigger finger. Keep reading to see why you shouldn’t ignore them.

Does Drinking Milk Really Improve Bone Strength?

Milk: it does a body good, right? Sort of — there’s actually a little more to it than that. Keep reading to see how drinking milk can play a role in bone health. However, it’s not the only thing you need for strong bones.

The Role of Hyaluronan in Your Knee

People spend a lot of time talking about cartilage and arthritis. However, that’s not the only substance in your body that supports joint function and mobility. If you have osteoarthritis in your knees, here’s how hyaluronan could help.