So, can bone fracture heal itself?
The sad truth is, fractures are fairly common!.
If you are reading this, then probably you have suffered a fracture or know someone who may have recently suffered from one.
Fracture is an exceedingly common condition that occurs when an injury or stress from an injury exceeds the load-bearing capacity of the bone.
The severity of the fracture depends upon the force applied and also to a certain extent on the angle of application. To put simply, there are multiple types of fractures, moreover depending on the bone involved healing time will also vary drastically.
As an orthopedic surgeon, our orthopedic hospital in Coimbatore specializes in treating a variety of complex fractures that we routinely see in our trauma unit.
Some common fractures that we routinely come across include:-
1. Fracture of the clavicle
2. Fracture of the arm
3. Wrist fracture
4. Ankle fracture
5. Foot fracture
6. Multiple fractures
So can bone fracture heal itself?. The answer is not a straightforward one. Simple fractures line hairline fractures can heal itself if the bone is kept immobilized in a cast. Before a cast can be placed, the bone must first be kept in proper alignment. This process is also called ‘setting of the bone’.
Your orthopedic doctor will first align clean the wound and then take an X-ray to assess whether the fractured bone is suitable for the cast procedure. Complex fractures where the bone is grossly broken in multiple places is usually not suitable for cast in general.
One your fracture is assessed and set right, keeping the bone in alignment, a cast is then placed. It is highly crucial to ensure that the cast is protected from water or moisture, this is because an improper cast can could potentially compromise would healing significantly.
A few tips that can heal the bone quickly include:-
A. Providing the body with a healthy intake of calories preferably from a protein-rich diet. Restricting carbohydrate intake also helps the fracture heal faster due to a reduction in the oxidative stress created at the site of healing. Numerous clinical studies have clearly suggested that oxidative stress is significantly associated with poor wound healing. A bone can be visualized as a sponge of live protein upon which mineral crystals are embedded. Even a modest increase in protein intake of 20 gms per day will help accelerate fracture healing tremendously.
B. Antioxidants intake, especially that of Vit A, E and C can greatly help improve fracture healing.
C. Adding Zinc and Calcium rich sources of food or supplements to the daily diet have also shown to vastly improve the healing of broken bones.
D. Tendon gliding exercises as advised by your doctor can also accelerate post fracture recovery significantly. For example, if your forearm is broken, exercises would commonly include movements of the fingers, hands, and shoulder joint. Interestingly numerous studies have suggested that these specific exercises help in improving bone healing.
E. Abstaining from smoking and alcohol also goes a long way in helping broken bones heal.
To conclude, as frightening as a fracture may sound, healing times and full recovery is usually possible following the right combination of exercises, diet, and nutritional habits.
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