Breaking Up: Dealing with Fractured Bones

If you have ever broken a bone before then you may already know what a pain it can be to deal with it after the fact. To add insult to injury, sometimes it seems like whatever caused the broken bone was completely avoidable. While “hindsight is 20/20” as they say, the steps that you take now are some of the most important in your healing process.

Immobilization is Key!

Keeping your limb or fractured bone immobilized is vital to your healing process. When dealing with a fracture you may find this to be a bit inconvenient but it will allow your bone to heal together properly. This is because your body produces collagen using cells referred to as chondroblasts around the break which is then hardened by cells in your body called osteoblasts. This process is going to take time to properly heal and will have the best chance of doing so if you can avoid stressing the weakened area.

When dealing with a fracture in an area such as your hand or fingers you may find it helpful to use a splint or brace that can provide the necessary support for fracture recovery. This should help to immobilize as well as stabilize the affected area making it easier to avoid unnecessary movement. For fractures in larger bones in your body which assist with ambulation, your doctor may decide that you need to have a cast.

It is important that you discuss with your doctor any questions about approved activity during your healing period. This way there is no confusion about what they do and do not recommend you do while your bone is still susceptible to further damage. Don’t be afraid to get specific as well. This should help you to understand exactly what risks certain activities pose to your recovery.

Diet and Lifestyle Affect Your Healing Period

The time it takes for a fracture to heal can be prolonged if you are eating a poor diet or smoke regularly. During this time, your body is working overtime to heal the fractured bone while it is still maintaining its many other functions like fighting off disease. Making an effort here to eat healthily and avoid bad lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption could play a significant role in helping your body heal as fast as it can.

Nutrition is paramount for optimizing the function of your body. However, it is going to be even more important if you are dealing with any sort of compromise. If you need more information about proper nutrition during this period you should reach out to your doctor or even a nutritionist that can assist you with valuable information for eating during recovery. Nutrients like calcium, zinc, protein, and iron, for example, will aid bone growth and tissue repair.

Plan Ahead

Planning during your recovery time can make a difference. Since there are still tasks that you may need to take care of during this time, you should plan things out ahead of time so you can avoid having any additional accidents which may exacerbate your injury.

If you are dealing with a fractured bone in your lower body then your movement is most likely going to be limited. Think about how and when you are taking care of errands such as grocery shopping and cooking. Ask friends and family for help, use food and grocery delivery services, etc. This will help ensure that you have the appropriate time and transportation to support your recovery.

Exercising Post Recovery

Chances are that you will have to sacrifice the use of the affected body part while you are healing. This may mean that your muscles could feel weak once the bone has healed enough to allow for movement again. At this stage, it is important that you speak to your doctor to ensure that you are both on the same page regarding what types of activity are recommended and those that are not.

Be specific when speaking to your doctor. If you were a runner that ended up breaking a leg, then you might want to ask about exercises you are able to do to start regaining muscle strength and endurance. This could include non-impact resistance exercises such as using an elliptical, stationary bike, and/or even something as simple as exercise bands.

When you do start to exercise again, take it slow. Allowing your body time to gradually acclimate to the physical activity will help ensure that you are not causing more damage or putting yourself at a greater risk of re-injuring yourself.

 

Image courtesy of [stockdevil] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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