What to Expect When Dealing With a Broken Bone

What to Expect When Dealing With a Broken Bone

August 4th, 2021

Unexpected injuries happen when you least expect it. Unfortunately, if you hear or feel a snap or a grinding noise as the injury happens you may be dealing with a broken bone. Other sure signs are swelling, bruising or tenderness around the injured area, and pain when you touch or move it or put weight on it. Here’s what to expect if you end up with a broken bone.

How Long Will You Be in a Cast, Splint, or Brace?

First, you need to remember that your recovery time isn’t just when you’re in a cast or splint. Time spent in a cast is determined by the type and location of the fracture. You could be in a splint or cast from a few days to a couple of months with a broken arm, leg, foot, or bone in your hand. A full recovery can take many months, and after-care can be a critical part to a pain free future.

Physiotherapy Can Speed Up Your Recovery

Typically, you will lose muscle bulk, joint range of motion, and pain and stiffness where you broke your bone and by being in a cast. However, you can help get back to health more quickly if you take physiotherapy. The process of physiotherapy, better known as physical therapy usually starts 2-4 weeks after the break and it’s been in a cast. Your doctor or healthcare team will evaluate you to see how the bone is healing at the fracture site. Once approved to begin physiotherapy, you will start on your own with gentle, passive movements to restore normal range of movement, control pain, and reduce swelling. Once the pain and swelling diminish, you can then take a more active role in your recovery by starting physical therapy to incorporate some more active but assisted exercises and some light strengthening work. The goal is to make sure you can build back muscle lost during your immobilization while being in a cast.

After Your Bone Heals

Healing of broken bones varies based on your age and the type of fracture. Normally, it takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks. Hand and wrist fractures often heal in 4-6 weeks whereas a tibia fracture may take 20 weeks or more. As you heal, strength building is an important part of fully restoring the function of the damaged bones, joints, and muscles. This is done during physical therapy but should also continue with an at home exercise plan to recondition the muscles surrounding the fracture.

What Type of Doctor Should I See?

Depending on the location and severity of the break, you may need to see more than one doctor. A good place to start is with and urgent care center who can provide a same day exam and/or imaging to determine the status of your injury. You may then be referred to an Orthopedist or Sports Medicine doctor for casting and additional evaluation. Cure Urgent Care treats non-life-threatening injuries quickly and affordably. We offer scheduled appointments and walk-ins at 3 convenient locations.

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