Types of bone fractures
Stable fracture – The bones have a slight break but lineup, not out of place are piercing the skin.
Open fracture – The bone or injury itself pierces the skin, the bone may be visible. Transverse fracture- The break in the bone forms a horizontal line.
Oblique fracture – The fracture is diagonal or at an angle along the bone.
Comminuted fracture – The fracture may break the bone into pieces, or it breaks in three or more places.
How does bone remodel itself?
The bone remodels itself using cells called; osteoclasts absorb old bone matter, while your body uses osteoblasts to create new bone. Callus is new bone that grows around the fracture, the callus acts as a gap filler growing until the area is smooth and new. The patient’s age and health, along with the type of fracture determine how long it takes to heal.
What are the different ways a doctor may treat a fractured bone?
Doctors use immobilization in some form to treat fractures. Plaster casts can be used, along with metal screws and specialty bracing. Internal and external fixation may be used, depending on the type of fracture. Internal fixation involves a rod sometimes along the length of the bone, where external uses rods on the outside that are removed after the healing process. Recovery can vary from weeks to months depending on the extent of the fracture, often pain goes away before the bone is completely healed. The patient should also remember that often the outlying muscles and tendons have to heal also.
I had a non-displaced intertrochanteric fracture of my right femur, closed and non-displaced. I also broke the top of my greater trocanter, where it comes to a hard point. I fell on hard wood floor and took quite the smack so to speak, it was very painful and I could not walk or stand. I called 911 and upon transport found out it was fractured (I had been telling myself it was only dislocated, even though I heard and felt the pop). I was given two options do nothing and be in a wheel chair for six weeks to several months while it healed on its own, without being able to put any weight on that leg, or have surgery with internal fixation. I choose surgery, I was under the impression that I would be on crutches for two weeks and start physical therapy. I was sorely mistaken, I was on crutches for six weeks and told that if I didn’t follow the doctor’s orders I would be in for another surgery and it would be total hip replacement. It was one of the most challenging times in my life; I can really empathize with a patient with this type of severe injury better now. I followed orders, taught myself how to walk again, and have been back running for about three months now. I completed my first 5K post injury this month and plan to keep pushing forward.