If you break a bone, it’s imperative that you get it treated. Regardless of where the fracture took place in the body, the stress of a broken bone can be quite substantial, which means that you have to act sooner rather than later.
For the most part, bones are exceptionally good at healing. Unlike other parts of the body, when they are treated correctly, you can make a full recovery and have a bone that is as good as new. However, if left untreated, the problem can get worse and lead to complications and more pain and suffering.
Nonunion vs. Delayed Union
When a bone fracture is untreated, it can result in either a nonunion or a delayed union. In the former case, the bone doesn’t heal at all, which means that it will remain broken. As a result, swelling, tenderness, and pain will continue to worsen over time.
Delayed unions are bone fractures that take longer to heal than usual. In most cases, though, patients can make a full recovery, although there can also be complications, depending on how well the bone was set.
How Do Bones Heal?
When there is a fracture, that means that the bones have separated. A partial fracture means that some of the bone is still connected, whereas a total fracture implies a complete split.
In most cases, the doctor will set the bone so that the two sides can connect and heal. New tissue grows, new bone material fills in the gap, and you’re back to normal.
To ensure that this process happens smoothly, these conditions have to be met.
Stability – if the bones are misaligned, then they will connect unevenly. If that happens, it could impact the structural integrity of the tissue and lead to more pain and suffering.
Blood Supply – your bones heal thanks to the components of your blood. Thus, it’s imperative that the tissue gets adequate blood supplied to the site to facilitate rapid healing.
Nutrients – we all know that calcium helps build strong bones, so it’s extra vital to consume the right nutrients when they are healing.
Complications of Bone Healing
In some cases, even with the right treatment, your bones may not heal properly. Some of the risk factors that can lead to complications include:
- Old age
- Tobacco use (smoking)
- Low vitamin D supply
- Some medications, including anti-inflammatories
Bottom Line – Stay Healthy and Get Treated
If you ever experience a bone fracture, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once the bone is set, then you have to make sure that you’re helping your body heal as quickly as it can. If you have any of these risk factors, you want to talk to your doctor about how to mitigate them to facilitate faster healing.
Overall, a broken bone is a serious injury. Failing to get treatment can make things a lot worse. In need of an orthopedic surgeon? Contact Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates today!