Whenever you tear a ligament, cut your skin, or break a bone, your body immediately kicks into healing mode. The first responder on the scene is your blood to form a clot and start the cell regeneration process.
New bone cells begin to form along the edges of the fracture, and over time, the threads of new bone tissue meet in the middle and “knit” together until your bone is healed. Depending on the severity of your fracture, rebuilding your bones can take a few months to a year.
Your body is a powerful biological machine, and it’s capable of healing a fracture on its own. But we don’t recommend resting on your body’s laurels. Without prompt medical attention, your bone may not heal properly.
We at Somers Orthopaedic Surgery are fracture experts. We work with your body’s natural abilities and specialize in helping your bones help themselves.
Here’s a closer look at the role we play in bringing your bones back from a fracture.
Stress, greenstick, oblique, and transverse fractures are all types of fractures that can heal on their own with little intervention. That’s because, in these cases, your bone remains connected and hasn’t been displaced.
These minor fractures still need medical attention and usually require immobilization with a cast or splint. You may also need to avoid bearing weight on the affected bone by using crutches.
It’s tempting to skip the crutches and hope for the best, but that isn’t the best course of action where your bones are concerned.
Leaving broken bones (even minor cases) untreated can lead to a complication called a malunion, which is a deformity that develops when the ends of bones don’t line up correctly. Malunions can cause other problems like:
- Loss of mobility, function, and range of motion
- Deformation of the bone
In addition to malunion, a fracture left to its own devices can also wind up infected or with long-term circulation issues, both of which can result in bone and tissue death.
Fractures that need more help
Complex and severe fractures that result in crushed bones, fragmentation, spiral breaks, or bones breaking through your skin will eventually enter the self-healing process, but not before our experts come on the scene.
These types of fractures require realigning and resetting fragmented pieces and may be so broken and damaged that surgically implanted hardware is the only way to restabilize the bone.
Helping your fracture heal faster
By far, the best way to help your broken bone heal faster is to follow all our care instructions to a tee. That means wearing your cast or splint and avoiding bearing weight for the necessary period.
But it isn’t all a waiting game. You can potentially speed up your recovery time by fortifying your diet with calcium and vitamin D. Quitting smoking may also help you heal faster because the toxins in cigarettes slow down your body’s natural healing process.
If you think you’ve broken a bone, don’t wait. Call or click to schedule an appointment with one of our fracture experts today.