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Life After a Fracture

Life After a Fracture

Your bones are the sturdiest structures in your body — but they aren’t indestructible. Most people will experience a fracture or two during their lifetime, so knowing what to expect once the cast comes off is crucial. 

Here, our team of specialists at Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group takes a closer look at fractures and what life afterward looks like.

Types of fractures

A fractured bone (you may have also heard it called a broken bone) occurs any time there's a loss of continuity in your bone. Whether the crack is so small we can barely detect it on an X-ray or your bone has pierced your skin, you have a fracture. 

Some of the most common fracture descriptions include:

Every fracture, from the most severe to the barely detectable, requires treatment and must go through each stage of the healing process. 

For a fracture to heal properly, it must be held in the correct position, which typically requires bracing or casting. If the fracture is severe enough, we may recommend surgery to repair and realign your bones. Often, this involves installing metal screws and plates that hold your bones together as they heal. 

Most fractures take 6-12 weeks to heal the bone, but the time it may take to recover your function, especially after a severe fracture, can be up to a year. 

Life after a fracture

Once your bone has successfully healed and the cast has come off, it’s time to make the transition back into your normal routine. This can be a frustrating process, especially if you lead a busy or active lifestyle. But if you follow these guidelines, you’ll be back in the swing of things in no time. 

Have patience

Coming back from a fracture usually means re-learning how to move. For example, if you broke your wrist, you may not be able to get dressed, do the dishes, or grab groceries from your car as easily as you once did. 

In that case, we recommend that you make simple, temporary adjustments to your routine and ask for help to make life a bit easier as your bone continues to heal.

Follow your treatment plan

The day your cast comes off doesn’t mean you’re done with your treatment. Depending on your needs, we may recommend physical or occupational therapy to help you regain your strength and function. It’s important to follow your treatment plan closely to ensure that your bones heal properly. 

Work toward preventing future problems

After living through one fracture, it’s natural to want to avoid ever having one again. Though we can’t guarantee you won’t break a bone again, you can do a few things to mitigate your risk. 

We recommend interventions like padding your most vulnerable areas to cushion falls and other fracture-causing impacts. We also work with you to devise a strength-training program that helps you build both muscle and bone mass. 

Healthy living is another great way to support your bone and overall health and avoid future fractures. 

If you’d like more information about fracture recovery, you can request an appointment online or over the phone at one of our five convenient locations.

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