What is a Fracture?
A fracture is a broken bone. It can happen in many ways.
- An acute fracture occurs from a specific traumatic event such as a car accident, a tackle, or a fall.
- A stress fracture occurs when the bone breaks down after repetitive movements. Examples are stress fractures in the leg due to running, or in the spine due to repetitive stress on the back (spondylolysis).
Fracture healing times can vary based on the type of fracture and the individual. Generally the bone generally heals within 4-8 weeks. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, your doctor may set the bones back in the proper position through a method called reduction. They may also require surgery to bring it back to a proper position. Once it’s in a proper position for healing, the doctor may choose to immobilize or splint the area.
How Do I Know if I Have a Fracture?
Here are some things to consider if you’ve had an injury and are unsure of a fracture.
- Deformity of limb (bone does not look like it’s in the right place, or is sticking out) is the biggest indicator
- Inability to use the limb that is injured: unable to weight bear, unable to lift arm up
- Heard or felt a cracking at time of injury
- Tenderness and bruising at site of fracture
If there is severe deformity and significant pain, due to trauma, then it is recommended that you go to the emergency department. If you suspect a fracture, go see your family doctor.
Our clinicians can assesses your injury and determine a possibility of a fracture. If they suspect a fracture, they may refer you out to your family doctor for imaging and/or further investigation.
How can a Physiotherapist / Chiropractor/ Registered Massage Therapist at Lift Clinic help with fractures?
Our clinicians are able to do an in depth assessment to determine the likelihood of a fracture and refer out, if needed, for further imaging and investigation.
If you are recovering from a fracture, our clinicians are able to work with your doctor’s orders (weight bearing / load restrictions, activities to avoid, splint and sling conditions) to develop a treatment plan to help facilitate recovery and minimise secondary effects of the fracture such as pain, swelling, stiffness, and atrophy.
After the bone has sufficiently healed, our clinicians can help with loss of movement, function, and weakness associated with the period of immobilisation. They can help provide adequate loading to optimise recovery. Too little loading or too much loading can put the bone at risk of another fracture or prolong the healing process. They can also help assess and treat surrounding joints that may have been affected during the recovery. For example, if you had an ankle fracture, they might be looking at how well your hip, knee and back are functioning.
The whole recovery process can take anywhere from 8 weeks to a year, depending on the complexity of the injury. Our goal at Lift Clinic is to help you get back to doing what you need to do sooner.