When a person suffers a broken bone, he or she is said to have a bone fracture. Potentially, any bone in the body can become broken or fractured. In most cases, a bone fracture is the result of a physical injury. Some people acquire fractures while playing sports, although, everyday walking or a sudden fall can lead to this type of injury as well. Often, nonsurgical treatments may be used for a fracture, but if the break is severe, a person may need a bone fracture repair to restore normal bone function.
A bone fracture repair may be the only option if nonsurgical treatments prove unsuccessful. A doctor may first attempt conservative options to treat a bone fracture. One of the most popular conservative options is to immobilize the broken bone. Typically, a person will be assigned a brace or a cast to wear to keep the bone from moving. This will allow the broken bone to rest and present an undisturbed opportunity for it to mend.
The overall reason to perform a bone fracture repair is to realign a broken bone and restore functionality to it. Surgeons may begin this surgery by accessing the fractured bone through a surgical incision. Once the incision is made, the bone will be positioned into the correct place. The surgeon may use plates, pins, nails and screws to connect the bones together. These appendages may be left in their assumed positions or be removed after the bone has properly healed.
Bone grafts may be incorporated as part of a bone fracture repair. A bone graft involves taking bone tissues from other places in the body and grafting it on to damaged bones. This will be done to promote new bone growth in the areas that have been damaged. Often, a bone graft may be necessary due to an injury or disease that has damaged a bone. A person with a severely fractured bone may have a bone graft done to rebuild the inflicted bone portions.
After a bone fracture repair, a person may be required to wear a cast or brace to keep the bone in a stationary position. In most cases, the bone will need to be immobilized for at least six weeks. During this time of healing, doctors may advise the patient to do nothing that will put stress on the recovering bone. Generally a person will be able to resume normal physical activities following the repair of a bone fracture once he or she gets the okay from the surgeon.