When a person subjects himself to physical blow, with strength that overcome that of the bone itself, it will result to a bone fracture. Bone are made up of connective tissue that are fortified by calcium and a combination of bone cells. They have a soft center where blood is formed, and its main function in the body is support the body, protect the internal organs and allow mobility.
Bones can fracture in several ways and healing that will follow will be dependent on the kind of fracture that the bones incurred. There are several stages bone healing process and all bones need to successfully undergo each stage in order to completely heal:
Stages of bone healing following a fracture
a. Inflammatory stage: in this stage, a hematoma forms on the fracture site, just a few hours or days after the injury. Inflammatory cells infiltrate the bone to form granulation tissue, vascular tissue and immature tissue. These tissues come together to facilitate bone repair and this can go on for two to four weeks.
b. Repair stage: the healing process takes place in this stage. As long as the bones are properly positioned or aligned together, bone cells will lay down new tissues on the bone repair site to replace the fractured fragments. Blood vessels are also formed in this stage to provide complete nourishment for the bone and the entire process of healing can take about 1 to 2 months
c. Late remodeling stage: in this stage weak one material that has been formed in the repair stage will be replaced by strong bone material and this entire stage takes place the longest: months to over years.
Rehabilitation or rehab is must.
Types of bone fractures
How does bone heal? Bone healing usually depend on the severity of the fracture and the following are the different types of fractures:
• Greenstick fracture – a type of fracture that is characterized by a small crack and is most commonly found on children.
• Comminuted fracture – a type of fracture that involves the shattering of bone into several pieces; due to the severity of the damage this usually takes the longest to heal.
• Simple fracture – it is a type of close’ fracture, meaning the broken bone has not penetrated through the skin.
• Compound fracture – also known as an open fracture or a type of fracture where the broken bone is seen piercing through the skin. Due to the exposure, this has the most risk for infection, so fractures such as these are given immediate attention.
• Pathological fracture – these are bone fractures resulting due to bones weakened by various diseases. Such illnesses render the bone some weakness and so they tend to fracture more easily compared to healthy bones.
• Avulsion fracture – this type of fracture is more common in the knee and shoulder joints.
• Compression fracture – when two bones are forced against each other such as the bones of the spine.
Diagnosis of fractured bone
The first thing that the doctor will do is to ask for the history of the injury. He will then examine your for signs of fractures and if the doctor needs further confirmation, he will prescribe you with x-rays or a computed tomography (CT scan) to further detect any deformity or injury in the bone.
Fractures can occur after the following:
• Hitting your one with much force; or twisting or bending bone awkwardly as a result of a fall or a collision
• Repeated stresses, that are not necessarily forceful, can result to bone fractures
• Old age or if you have an illness that makes your bone weak
You could be suffering from a bone injury if you observe any of the following:
Treatment For Bone Injuries:
When a patient comes to the doctor the first time, he is loaded with a lot of questions and one of these are: how does bone heal? The truth is, bone heals depending on the fracture, and the treatment required for the bone to heal will also be dependent on the kind of fracture on the bone.
a. First aid – there is so much that one should know about handling the fractures on the moment it happens. First of all, make sure not to movie the person because movement may cause a more unfavourable complication. Attend to the bleeding wound first, before anything else, and never attempt to straighten any bones. Support the limbs with pillow or anything that will keep it elevated or if you can, apply a splint. Apply an ice pack to resolve the swelling and contact a doctor at once.
b. Hospital treatment – minor bone fractures find a way to heal on its own, but when the injury is more severe, the patient will have to undergo surgical procedure that will involve the insertion of metal hardware. These pins, plates and rods can remain in the bones permanently or they could be removed after some time.
c. Physical therapy – this is necessary in order to build the right strength to return to your normal routine. You cannot force yourself and you should always be supervised by a professional so therapies are the best way to recuperate.
Prevention of bone injuries
• Always wear protective gear when engaged in physical activity
• Drink milk and take supplements that will render your bones to be stronger
When to Call a Doctor
If there is one thing that you should realize about bone fractures, it is that they are serious even if it seems as though it is not, so consult your doctor in the presence or absence of pain.