Putting the pieces of bone together (may require anesthesia and/or surgery)
Keeping the pieces together while the bone heals itself
Devices that can hold a bone in place while it heals include:
A cast (may be used with or without surgery)
Metal pins across the bone with a frame holding them outside the bone (requires surgery)
A metal plate with screws (requires surgery)
Screws alone (requires surgery)
A rod down the middle of the bone (requires surgery)
Healing and Rehabilitation
Healing time ranges from three weeks for a simple finger fracture to many months for a complicated fracture of a long bone. All fractures require rehabilitation exercises to regain muscle strength and joint motion.
Delayed union—It takes longer than usual to heal but does heal.
Nonunion—The bone does not heal and needs some special treatment.
Infection—This is more likely to happen after an open fracture or surgery.
Nerve or artery damage—This usually occurs as result of a severe trauma.
Compartment syndrome—Severe swelling in the spaces of the limbs that causes damage to body tissues.
Late arthritis—This may happen if the surface of a joint is badly damaged.
If you are diagnosed with a fracture, follow your doctor's
You can reduce your chances of getting a fracture by:
Not putting yourself at risk for an accident or other trauma to the bone
Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
Regularly doing weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain strong bones
Regularly doing strengthening exercises to build strong muscles and prevent falls
Patients with osteoporosis may benefit from bisphosphonate medications
Fractures in Adults
. Vol 4. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 1994.
Gruntmanis U. Male osteoporosis: deadly, but ignored.
American Journal of the Medical Sciences
McCarus DC. Fracture prevention in postmenopausal osteoporosis: a review of treatment options.
Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey
*¹1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Loke YK, Singh S, Furberg CD. Long-term use of thiazolidinediones and fractures in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis.
2009;180:32-39. Epub 2008 Dec 10.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a