Unfortunately, many patients experience a fracture (broken bone) at some point in their lifetime. Because nearly all fractures are unanticipated, one of the most frustrating aspects of fracture care is the inability of patients to mentally prepare themselves for the surgery and recovery. We understand that a fracture can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Our nurses, therapists, physicians, and case management personnel will do our best to accommodate you and your family as you navigate this unfamiliar process.
Many types of fractures exist and treatment depends on fracture location, fracture type, patient age, patient activity level, and many other variables. Generally, fractures require 8-12 weeks to adequately heal. Some bones heal faster than others depending on soft tissue coverage, blood supply, and location. Some fracture types may require that the patient not place weight on the extremity while healing occurs. Some factors that may effect how quickly your fracture heals include age, concomitant diseases, vitamin levels, hormone levels, nutrition levels, and smoking status. (see section on nutrition) Your primary care physician can be instrumental in helping you to detect and correct any abnormalities. A daily multivitamin and supplemental Vitamin D are nearly always beneficial. Patients with compromised bone quality and low mineral density such as osteopenia and osteoporosis may be prone to fractures, these are specifically known as fragility fractures. This explains the high incidence of wrist fractures and hip fractures seen in the elderly population. Bone mineral density testing is important in middle age and elderly persons to prevent future fractures, and especially after a known fragility fracture. Ask your primary care physician about how to schedule a bone density screening. Unfortunately, sometimes fractures that are treated appropriately may not unite, or may unite in a malposition. This may require a subsequent surgery to establish a successful outcome. Placement or exchange of an implant, or bone grafting from another part of the body is sometimes necessary. Discuss your fracture with our staff for a better understanding of what to expect during the healing process, and to prepare yourself for future issues that may arise secondarily.