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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Get answers to the most - asked questions about fractures caused due to trauma.
What Are The Most Common Sites Of Fracture?
The most common sites of fracture include1,2
- Collarbone (Clavicle); it is more common in children
Fractures can hamper your quality of life and lead to prolonged absence at work, limited movement, deteriorating health, higher healthcare expenses, and increased burden on families and caretakers.3
How Can I Prevent Fracture?
A fall, an accident, or a forceful movement can all result in a fracture. Hence, it is critical to take precautions to avoid them. Here are a few simple tips to prevent fractures:4
- Ensure that your home has enough lighting and is clutter-free.
- Use walkers, canes, or installed handrails while walking outdoor for added stability.
- Wear comfortable and supportive footwear.
- Consume a well-balanced diet rich in various nutrients, such as calcium, and vitamins.
- Work out regularly as it may improve your balance and coordination.
- Use protective equipment, such as padding or a helmet.
- Request a bone mineral density (BMD) test from your doctor.
- Ask your physician about drugs that might help reduce bone loss and minimize your chances of a fracture.
Is There A Difference Between A Fracture And A Broken Bone?
A crack or break in the bone is known as a fracture or broken bone. Hence, broken bone and fractured bone mean the same thing. However, orthopedic surgeons usually use the term ‘fracture’.5
How To Provide First Aid Treatment For A Bone Fracture?
Here is a list of quick steps that you can take if you suspect a bone fracture:6
- Call an ambulance immediately.
- If the injury or wound is bleeding, wrap the wound site with a sterile bandage or a clean cloth.
- Keep the injured limb still and avoid movement.
- Apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a clean cloth to reduce swelling.
- In case you are helping someone with a fracture, calm the person and help them get into a comfortable and resting position.
When Should I Call For Emergency Help?
Fractures require medical attention. The severity of the fracture will depend on the type of fracture and the nature of the trauma. However, it’s important to seek emergency help if:6
- The person is not responding or is unable to breathe.
- The person is bleeding excessively, or the bone is protruding from the skin.
- The injured limb appears abnormal or deformed.
- Even slight pressure or movement at the injured site causes severe pain
- If you suspect a fracture in the neck or head.
In case of emergency, dial the national emergency helpline number 112.
How Long Does It Take For A Broken Bone To Heal?
The time required for a broken bone to heal will depend on the severity of the fracture and may vary from person to person. On average, a broken bone generally takes 6-8 weeks to heal.5 For any queries regarding the healing time and steps to ensure the healing process, please feel free to discuss them with your doctor.
How Soon Can I Get Treatment?
In case of fracture, it is important to consult a doctor and seek medical treatment. The initial 60 minutes or ‘the golden hour’ after trauma is extremely important to seek medical treatment.7 Consult your doctor right away and get immediate help in case of swelling, redness, or severe pain.5
What Happens After Surgery?
Your post-operative care will vary depending on the surgery and your health status. Post-operative care primarily consists of pain management.8 Following surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may use a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine to passively (without any patient force) move your limbs. This helps reduce post-operative muscle and joint stiffness.9 Depending on your condition, pain medications may also be prescribed.2
What Can I Do To Make My Fracture Heal Faster?
An orthopedic surgeon may recommend an X-ray or clinical examination to assess your fracture healing.10 Further, depending on your condition, the doctor may advise fracture stabilization using casts or special bracing, weight-bearing exercises, or a personalized diet, to promote fracture healing. However, certain underlying conditions and lifestyle factors, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking, can interfere with fracture healing.11 Hence, consult your doctor and seek professional medical advice to ensure an appropriate and faster fracture healing.
What If I Have A Problem After Discharge?
Upon discharge and depending on your health, your doctor may give you certain instructions that would help you take care of yourself.12 However, in case of any complications or uneasiness, you can still consult your doctor, who would be able to determine the further course of your treatment after a medical examination.
When Should I Start Physical Therapy/Exercises?
Before starting any physical activity, consult your doctor and make sure that your wound has healed. Fractures or the use of splints/casts can sometimes lead to joint stiffness. Hence, you may have to undergo physical therapy to restore the joint motion. The physician may also recommend using crutches or other supportive devices in the initial days. Physical therapy offers several benefits and may help you resume your day-to-day activities.13 For more information, consult your physician and perform exercises under the doctor’s supervision.
How Long Will It Take To Return To Work?
The type of work you do will determine when you can return to work. For instance, if you are involved in strenuous physical work that requires constant physical activity, you may have to wait until you have gained complete bone and muscle strength. However, if you have a desk job or a job that requires limited movement, you may be able to return to work sooner.14 However, it may vary from person to person, and only your orthopedic surgeon can determine the appropriate time to resume work. Hence, feel free to discuss it with your physician.
1. Bentley TP, Hosseinzadeh S. Clavicle Fractures. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 -. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov [Accessed on 24th March 2022]
2. Bergh C, Wennergren D, Möller M, et al. Fracture incidence in adults in relation to age and gender: A study of 27,169 fractures in the Swedish Fracture Register in a well-defined catchment area. PLoS One. 2020;15(12):e0244291.
3. Wu A,Bisignano C,James S, et al. Global, regional, and national burden of bone fractures in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, The Lancet Healthy Longevity, Volume 2, Issue 9, 2021, Pages e580-e592,
4. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Preventing Falls and Related Fractures. [Internet] [Cited on 22nd March 2022]. Available at: www.bones.nih.gov
5. Cleveland Clinic. Bone Fractures. [Internet] [Cited on 22nd March 2022]. Available at: my.clevelandclinic.org
6. Mayo Clinic. Fractures (Broken Bones). [Internet] [Cited on 22nd March 2022]. Available at: www.mayoclinic.org
7. Abhilash KP, Sivanandan A. Early management of trauma: The golden hour. Curr Med Issues 2020;18:36-9
8. Korean Knee Society. “Guidelines for the management of postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty.” Knee surgery & related research vol. 24,4 (2012): 201-7.
9. Ruedi Thomas P., Murphy William M., AO Principles of Fracture Management. 2000. [Internet] [Cited 18th May 2022]. Available at: pdfs.semanticscholar.org
10. Orthopaedic Trauma Association. FAQ. Is my fracture healing? [Internet][Cited on 24th March 2022]. Available at: ota.org
11. 2- General Principles of Fracture Care, Editor(s): M. Patrice Eiff, Robert Hatch, Fracture Management for Primary Care (Third Edition), W.B. Saunders, 2012, Pages 5-35. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com [Accessed on 24th March 2022]
12. Patel PR, Bechmann S. Discharge Planning. [Updated 2021 Apr 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 -. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
13. Orthopaedic Trauma Association. FAQ. When should I start physical therapy? [Internet][Cited on 24th March 2022]. Available at: ota.org
14. NHS Central and North West London. Returning to work after surgery. [Internet] [Cited 02 May 2022] Available from: www.cnwl.nhs.uk