When you fracture a bone it is important that you help your body to heal as best as possible. This is mostly so that you do not lose any of your existing function or range of motion.
When healing a fractured bone, it should always be the aim that the bone heals in the original position. Depending on the location of the fracture, and the severity of it, the treatment option may vary. Some bone fractures can be remedied by the patient wearing a cast, whereas other fractures could involve surgical intervention.
Bone Fracture Repair Surgery
If less invasive treatment options are not an option, then bone fracture repair surgery will be considered to correct a bone fracture. This surgery is also known as open reduction and internal fixation surgery.
This option will only be explored if the use of a cast or a splint is not deemed appropriate for the patient. For example, if the fractured bone has broken through the skin then surgery is going to be the likely course of action. When a fracture occurs in the area of the wrists or the ankles, then it is more common that surgery will be the go-to option, instead of attempting to use a cast or a splint.
Bone fracture repair surgery involves the use of plates, pins, rods or screws to hold the bone in position. These things may be permanent additions that must stay in place for the rest of your life, but in some instances they will be temporary.
This is a procedure that will take several hours and will usually be performed under anesthesia. In some instances, a local anesthesia will be applied to the area in quesiton, as opposed to putting you under with a general anesthetic.
If the bone in question has shattered then a bone graft may be the best treatmant path to take.
A bone graft requires the use of bone from other parts of your body to help repair the fractured bone. This is considered to be an especially complex surgery, and will largely extend the recovery time of healing the fracture.
Getting Ready for Surgery
If your healthcare professional has decided that surgery is the best way to treat your bone fracture, then it is a good idea to begin preparing your body and mind for surgery. This means paying attention to your diet, your physical activity levels, and managing your expectations about the recovery period.
It is essential that your surgeon has as much information about your current condition and medical history as possible. Do not withold any information at all and make sure that you answer all of the surgeons questions honestly. In the event that complications do present, either during or after your surgery, it will be much easier for the surgeon to deal with this when they have all of the information.
You should have a solid plan in place for the period of recovery following your surgery. Make sure you have someone who can bring you home from the hospital and take care of you during the first few days and weeks after your procedure. The recovery period will generally be between six to eight weeks, but can vary for a number of reasons. It's always best to check with your surgeon so that you are fully informed about your recovery.
As with any surgery, it is very important that you take good care of yourself throughout the recovery period, and especially in the first few days. Be sure to take any pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed, and to follow all of your post-op directions.
It is likely that your surgeon will want you to ice, elevate and rest the bone in question, and doing all of these things as instructed will better enable your body to tackle inflammation.
Eating for Healthy Bones
Helping to protect your bones against future fractures is something you can do to some degree through the dietary choices that you make. This is something you can achieve by making small changes to your diet over time.
There is an abundance of foods that are rich in calcium, in addition to other nutrients that are also known to be useful for bone health. These foods include prunes, onions, tofu, salmon and walnuts, as well as a wide range of vegetables.
Click to read more about which foods you should eat to enjoy better bone health!
Getting Back to Normal
When your movement is restricted because of an injury, such as a fractured bone, then this can of course be frustrating. However, being as patient with yourself as possible is the very best way to eventually get back to normal!
Trying to rush your body to be as it was before can actually cause further harm and cause the recovery period to take even longer. You may also be in danger of causing an additional injury if you try to use the bone before it has healed.
Remember, the sooner you get an accurate diagnosis, the sooner you can get on the path back to full health. At Onto Orthopedics we strive to always provide a speedy diagnosis to identify the problem as soon as possible!