How broken bones are healed
Broken bones are a serious medical emergency. When you break a bone, you are in danger of serious complications such as chronic pain and blood poisoning. If you break a bone, get to the emergency room as soon as possible. A broken bone is called a fracture.
At the hospital, the doctor will assess the break and determine the next course of treatment that is most likely to heal it. In most instances, when surgery isn’t needed to reset the bones and push them back into their natural positions, the doctor will set the broken limb in a cast. This is to keep the parts of the broken bone in place, so that the new “threads” of bone cells can start to grow on both sides of the fracture line. These threads grow toward each other, and this starts to happen fairly quickly after injury, although the process is a slow one.
When recovering from a broken bone, it is important to rest and stay as immobile as possible for the first few weeks. Eventually, with physical therapy that will be supervised by a medical professional, you will be expected to move the injury site and exercise it to strengthen the new growth.
Depending on the severity and angle of the break, the bone can take up to a year to regenerate.
Complications in the healing process
Two bone-related problems, namely Nonunion fractures and Malunion and post-traumatic deformities can occur if a bone doesn’t heal properly, says Henry Ford Health System.
Nonunion fractures occur when the two parts of the broken bone don’t merge back together. This is usually a result of incorrect setting, or infection.
Malunion and post-traumatic deformities occur when the bone heals in the wrong position. While healing, a cuff or callous of extra-strong new bone forms around the fracture to protect it, BBC reports. A few weeks into healing, the bone at the fracture site is stronger than a normal bone. However, this changes when the bone has fully healed. The bone will eventually be the same thickness as the other bones, while being just as strong.