Receiving excessive trauma to a bone so that it breaks is a frightening experience. It takes a phenomenal amount of force to fracture a bone. Bones are very strong, however, because they are designed in different shapes and sizes and located in various areas of the body, fractures come easier for some bones than others.
The location, size, and position of a bone and how it’s broken in relation to placement, will also affect how the bone will heal and how invasive the treatment will be to fix it. For instance, the femur, which is located in the thigh, is much more unlikely to break than smaller, more slender bones like the clavicle (collarbone) or a rib bone.
A fractured bone will heal whether a doctor resets it or not, but it’s ill-advised (and painful) to leave a broken bone unattended. A broken bone that is unattended by a doctor will heal as it was broken. It will be deformed. It’s important that a fractured bone is reset to its proper anatomical position. Setting a bone properly, to its natural position can be performed in two different procedures. Here are some options for fixing broken bones.
Closed Reduction is a non-surgical procedure for resetting a broken bone. A doctor manually manipulates the bone back into its proper position without surgery.
Open Reduction is a surgical procedure for resetting a seriously broken bone. The bone must be exposed in order for it to be reset.
It is crucial to seek medical attention immediately following a fracture. A doctor will diagnose the seriousness of the break to determine the best and most effective treatment option for optimal healing. We’ve discussed closed and open reduction, but for further discussion, a bone fracture repair is an option for fixing fractured bones.
Bone Fracture Repair is a procedure that’s utilized when a bone is so severely broken that it won’t heal properly by wearing a cast or splint. The procedure, called open reduction internal fixation surgery, is a two-fold process. During surgery, the bone is put back in place and secondly, an internal fixation device is placed on the bone to hold it in place. Essentially, the bone is held together with pins, a plate, screws or a rod. For obvious reasons, this is considered to be emergency surgery – it’s usually not planned and time is of the essence. The surgery is performed in the hospital and depending on the severity of what’s involved, a patient can expect to remain in the hospital for anywhere between one to seven days.
Other Options for Fixing Broken Bones
Broken ends of bones have to be perfectly aligned and kept together so the broken bone will fuse and heal in the proper position. To keep the bone from shifting, the doctor will set the bone and then place it in a cast so it remains immobilized. A plaster or fiberglass cast will keep the bone in place and will prevent movement of the bone.
The doctor will provide a cast for the broken bone to limit/control movement. This treatment is for less severe fractures that don’t require surgery. Instead of a cast, a brace might be used.
Traction guides the bone back in place through the use of gentle pulling using a system of weights, ropes, and pulleys by also applying pressure to the tissue that surrounds the affected bone, stabilizing and realigning the fractured bone.
Getting back to work and play is important to you. It’s important to us too. At Florida Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, our goal is to get every patient back up and running toward his or her good health, but in the safest way possible. Contact our office at (805) 763-0346 or book an appointment online and get back on track for good health