Bones are the hardest tissues in your body, but a high impact can cause a fracture. About 178 million bone fractures occur worldwide each year, as indeed a broken bone can happen to anyone in a variety of ways.
How quickly a broken bone can heal depends on the bone’s location, type, and severity, as well as your age and health. Another factor is how long it took you to have medical treatment for your fracture – the more quickly you were able to see a doctor for your broken bone, the better your prognosis.
After all, the bone tissues will begin to heal together quickly (as long as the broken fragments are touching and are not separated), and you don’t want the bone to heal crookedly.
Let’s talk about some of the ways in which you can speed up the healing of your broken bone, and where you can go across Connecticut and Massachusetts for world-class sports medicine and orthopedic treatment.
Bone Healing Process
The bone healing process has three overlapping stages: inflammation, bone production, and bone remodeling.
- Inflammation usually begins after the fracture occurs. Blood clotting then provides structural stability for new bone formation at the fracture site.
- Bone production is when a material called soft callus is formed at the fracture site, replacing the blood clot.
- Bone remodeling can then take several weeks or months in order to allow new bone formation and restoration of its former shape. This is when the soft callus becomes hard callus.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the healing time for fractured bones is based on the patient’s age and the type and location of the fracture. Healing usually ranges from 6 weeks to 6 months, or longer in the case of a shattered bone.
Methods to Speed Up Healing of a Broken Bone
There are several factors that can help to accelerate the healing of a fractured bone:
Keeping the broken bone fragments in place is an essential factor in facilitating fast and safe healing. In most cases, a cast is applied to keep the bone fragments straight and together. If the fracture is complex, surgery may be necessary – in which case screws, plates, and/or wires may be used to keep the bone fragments in proper placement while they heal.
According to a recent study, deficiencies in certain nutrients can affect the time it takes a fractured bone to heal. Vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D are crucial to bone health, so it’s advised to consume a diet that is rich in these nutrients – such as dairy products, green vegetables, cod liver oil, and eggs.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can slow down the healing process. According to a recent study, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol can quicken the healing process of a fractured bone.
A physical therapist can show you exercises that will strengthen the supporting muscles around your broken bone, and this can help the whole area to become stronger. Plus, putting just enough (but not too much) weight on the area of your broken bone can facilitate healing, and your physical therapist will teach you exercises which will do just that.
Orthopedic Sports Medicine in Massachusetts and Connecticut
Bone fractures can occur in an instant, but our board-certified sports doctors at Advanced Orthopedics New England can help speed up your healing process. Come see us for state-of-the-art treatment for bone fractures, arthritis, back pain, knee pain, and sports medicine.
To schedule an appointment, contact us today at (860) 728-6740 or complete our online request form. We look forward to being your orthopedic practice!