Fracture and treatment

Fracture treatment and healing times depend on the severity of the injury.

A bone is in a steady state of regeneration even when there is no damage.
He is constantly adding cells to his inventory and exchanging them.
This natural process is why bone healing occurs spontaneously.

However, optimal healing must be supported by the adjustment (reduction) of the fracture.
Repositioning or setting up a fracture means bringing the broken bone ends back into an anatomically correct position as precisely as possible.
In most cases, setting the fracture consists of casting the fractured bone in a cast after it has been pulled into the correct position.

If the reduction of the fracture does not produce a satisfactory result (improper alignment or stability), further measures may be necessary.
These are usually of an operative nature and involve fixing the bone ends with screws, plates or intramedullary nails.


First aid measures for broken bones

The casualty should be moved or transported as little as possible unless there is a hazardous situation. In anticipation of the emergency services, the following immediate measures must be taken:

  • stop bleeding.
  • Press a sterile bandage, clean cloth, or piece of clothing over the wound.
  • Immobilize the injured area.
  • Don’t try to straighten the bones or push back in a bone that has come out. If you know something about it, you can splint the injured bone if there are no professional helpers nearby. Attach the splint above and below the break point; soft padding will help lessen the discomfort.
  • Apply ice compresses to control swelling and relieve pain until emergency responders arrive. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin, wrap it in a towel or use an ice pack.
  • If the patient feels weak and has rapid, shallow breathing, elevate the head slightly and elevate the legs.

Physical therapy and physiotherapy for fractured bones

Once the bone has healed, muscle strength and mobility of the stiff joints must be restored through special rehabilitation exercises .
Magnet therapy is a treatment method in which the bone is exposed to pulsating magnetic fields; Studies show that the times it takes for bone callus to form can be reduced by up to 50% in this way.

If the fracture occurs near the joint, there is a risk of permanent stiffening .
The rehabilitation program must be discussed with the doctor or physiotherapist.
Treatment is individual and depends on the patient’s situation, the appearance of the x-rays, and other factors already mentioned.
Each case must be treated individually.

Complications of a displaced fracture

There is a risk that a fracture will not grow firmly together or that the two bone ends will not unite at all. This problem occurs primarily in the elderly and in the case of serious fractures. In some fractures (such as hip fractures in the elderly) the proportion of lack of consolidation is quite high. Instead of repositioning, the affected section (hip prosthesis) is replaced.

Prognosis in a displaced fracture

The treatment of a broken bone is too complex to be treated as a general concept. Many factors play a role in this:

  • location of the fracture
  • Store grade
  • Deformity of the segment
  • Possibility of complete healing
  • multiple injury
  • Age and activity level of the patient

Surgical intervention for a displaced fracture

Surgery depends on which section of bone is fractured, where the fracture is located, and whether the surgeon believes the fracture will be at risk of instability after reduction.
If there is a certain risk that healing will not occur, an operation must be carried out.
Sometimes fractures appear undisplaced and appropriately immobilized, but prove unstable at the next check-up.
In these cases, surgical intervention is necessary.

During an operation, the bone can be closed and immobilized under anesthesia; the bones are manipulated until they are in their correct anatomical position.
A plaster cast is then applied to maintain this bone position (retention).
In some cases, the bones are so fractured that an open setup is necessary.
In an open reduction, an incision is made in the operating room so nails, plates, and screws can be placed.
Depending on the type of fracture, some of these pieces of metal can remain in the bone permanently. Others, on the other hand, can be surgically removed once the bones have grown together (usually after a year).

For complicated fractures, such as comminuted or open fractures, the surgeon may recommend an external fixator. This device forms a framework outside the limb and is attached to the bone with nails or metal wires.
The advantage of external fixation is the drastic reduction in immobilization and healing times.

Healing time

Broken bones can take weeks or even months to heal, depending on the extent of the injury and doctor’s orders.
The pain usually subsides before the bone is fully consolidated.
The patient can resume normal daily activities, although the bone healing is not yet complete.

Even after the cast and brace are removed, it may be necessary to continue to restrict movement until the bone is strong enough to resume normal activities.

During the recovery period, a loss of muscle strength in the affected area becomes noticeable. Special exercises performed under the direction of a physiotherapist help to regain muscle strength, mobility and range of motion.


Physical activity and the right diet can help prevent fractures.
A sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D promotes bone strength and prevents osteoporosis .
A correct diet should be free of dairy products, meat, eggs and high-sugar foods. There is a general belief that milk and cheese promote bone formation, but the opposite is true. Asians who don’t eat these foods typically don’t have osteoporosis.
The stress on bones from exercise makes them stronger.

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