- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Fracture
- Putting the pieces of bone together (may require anesthesia and/or surgery)
- Keeping the pieces together while the bone heals itself
Devices that can hold a bone in place while it heals include:
- A cast (may be used with or without surgery)
- Metal pins across the bone with a frame holding them outside the bone (requires surgery)
- A metal plate with screws (requires surgery)
- Screws alone (requires surgery)
- A rod down the middle of the bone (requires surgery)
Healing and Rehabilitation
Healing time ranges from three weeks for a simple finger fracture to many months for a complicated fracture of a long bone. All fractures require rehabilitation exercises to regain muscle strength and joint motion.
- Delayed union-It takes longer than usual to heal but does heal.
- Nonunion-The bone does not heal and needs some special treatment.
- Infection-This is more likely to happen after an open fracture or surgery.
- Nerve or artery damage-This usually occurs as result of a severe trauma.
- Compartment syndrome-Severe swelling in the spaces of the limbs that causes damage to body tissues.
- Late arthritis-This may happen if the surface of a joint is badly damaged.
If you are diagnosed with a fracture, follow your doctor's instructions.