A fracture is a break or a crack in a bone that often occurs when a force puts too much pressure on it. Fractures commonly happen due to sports injuries, car accidents, falls, or osteoporosis. If you sustain a fracture to your bone, immediately seek medical care.
Depending on various factors, recovery can take weeks to months. Learn more about the recovery process to help you heal better and faster.
3 Stages of Bone Healing
Generally, a fracture takes an average of 6 to 8 weeks to heal. However, your own recovery process can depend on the severity of your fracture, how well you follow your doctor’s instructions, your overall health, and nutrition. Additionally, if your fracture is extremely severe, meaning it has shattered into multiple pieces, it can take longer to heal.
Most fractured bones undergo three stages of healing phases.
1. The Inflammatory Stage
The first stage occurs immediately after the injury. It’s called the fracture hematoma formation or the inflammatory stage. Special cells around the injured area will cause inflammation, signaling your body to stop using that body part so that it can heal. Then, torn blood vessels due to the fracture will release blood to form a hematoma around the broken bone. Some bone cells will die around the fracture, due to the disturbance of blood flow to the bone. The inflammatory stage will last up to 1 week after the fracture.
2. The Reparative Stage
The second phase lasts for 2 to 3 weeks and starts within the first few days to a week after you sustain a fracture. Here, your body will develop cartilage and tissue around the fractured bone, replacing the blood clot from the first stage. These growths are known as calluses, which will connect and stabilize the fractured bone. After a few weeks, the trabecular bone will replace the tissue calluses.
3. Bone Remodeling
The final stage in healing of a fracture is the remodeling phase. Here, solid bone replaces the trabecular bone. There are instances when even after the bone is remodeled, it remains swollen for some time. However, it will gradually heal on its own.
As you progress with your recovery, your doctor will advise you to limit your activity to support healing. Upon treatment, most patients will fully recover and be able to get back to their regular activities. Physical therapy will also be part of your treatment plan to help you regain range of motion and strength following casting or surgery.
Your recovery period depends on factors such as your bone fracture type, age, and overall health. Within 1 – 2 weeks, you will need the utmost discipline in following your doctor’s instructions carefully.
The following are some important things to note:
- Don’t smoke.
- Do the recommended exercises.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Rest the fractured bone as much as possible.
Additionally, casting is critical for healing your fractured bone. This will prevent unnecessary movement and further damage. However, because it limits movement, your muscles may start to get weak and stiff after a few weeks.
When your cast is removed after 6 to 8 weeks, you may also notice that the affected area appears smaller. This is where physical therapy comes in. Your doctor and physical therapist will craft a personalized program for you to help ease stiffness, break down scar tissue, and strengthen the area. Physical therapy will also build up your muscle strength, improve your range of motion, and boost your flexibility.
Healthy Diet to Recover from a Bone Fracture
Your bone needs to rebuild after experiencing a fracture. You can speed up the process of your recovery by having a healthy, well-balanced diet with fish, fruits, and vegetables and rich in the following key nutrients:
- It helps your body receive and use calcium, which is one of the critical nutrients for healthy bones.
- Calcium is a mineral that helps build sturdy bones. Foods and drinks with high calcium can help your fracture recover faster.
- Vitamin D. This vitamin helps your blood receive and use calcium to build up minerals in your bones. It will also help speed up your recovery.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, an important building block of bones. Consuming vitamin C can help boost bone healing.
- Iron helps the body activate collagen and get oxygen into your bones.
Bone Fracture Treatment in Clinton Township, MI
The recovery period of a fracture can vary depending on its severity. Following your doctor’s orders and maintaining a healthy diet can improve your healing. In any case of bone fracture, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention.
At Movement Orthopedics, we offer the most advanced on-site imaging tools to evaluate your fracture. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Carrol, heads our orthopedic team in providing the best care for each patient. Dr. Carroll specializes in fracture care and can help you toward a successful recovery. You can rest assured that you will receive comprehensive and patient-centered treatment from our team.
If you want to schedule a consultation, you can call us at (586) 436-3785. You may also use our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back to health!