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Fractures – How does a physio help?

posted Feb 20, 2016, 2:30 PM by Rebecca Smith   [ updated Feb 22, 2016, 7:42 PM ]
During this time of summer when people are out and about more, injuries from playing sports and other pastimes
(e.g. jumping on the backyard trampoline) are more prevalent. Breaking bones (fractures) are just one of a number of injuries that can take place. When someone does sustain a fracture, it’s usually off to the hospital emergency room where an X-ray is undertaken and in the case of a fracture being confirmed, a cast/splint being placed on the affected area. Sometimes, surgery may even have to be undertaken in order to insert a rod into the bone for increased support. This then involves the fractured area being out of action while the bone naturally heals. Even though rest is important during this time, early physiotherapy intervention is also necessary to ensure that the maximum benefits and outcomes are achieved in the minimum amount of time possible, as well as being another way to monitor progress and ensure there are no setbacks along the way.

After a fracture is sustained, the healing process begins with the bone and surrounding tissue bleeding from the impact to the small blood vessels (capillaries). Within a few days, the small blood vessels would have formed a hematoma (clotted blood) which will eventually be cleared away. After this, spongy bone forms at the fracture site that then turns into compact bone, a type of bone which is similar to the original bone. During this process, it is vital that rest is undertaken otherwise complications can take place. These complications may include but are not limited to malalignment of the bone and poor union of the fracture. The time it takes for a fracture to heal depends on many factors and should be guided by clinical timeframes, imaging (e.g. X-rays) and your health professional.

While the fracture is healing, your physiotherapist will firstly help you regain full range of motion of the surrounding joints and then help you regain your strength to what it was prior to the fracture. They may also help relieve any pain that you may be experiencing. Various treatments that physiotherapists can utilise include range of motion exercises, stretches, strengthening exercises, massage, mobilisations, and electrotherapeutic modalities. If you have fractured one of your leg/foot bones, they may also educate you on the correct way to use crutches and provide advice on when to begin walking without the use of crutches.

If you have recently had a fracture, then book yourself an appointment with any of our team.

Physiotherapist Narellan
Difference Physiotherapy Narellan & Camden