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Physical therapy for bone fractures

What are bone fractures?

Bone fractures, or broken bones, occur when a bone comes in contact with a force that causes it to break, split, or fracture. Fractures are most commonly caused by a forceful impact, and they’re more common in young children and the elderly than they are in young or middle-aged adults. This is because children are more likely than adults to participate in high-risk activities, while elderly patients tend to have more fragile bones.

Bone fractures can be grouped into four main categories: displaced, non-displaced, open, and closed. Displaced fractures occur when the bone breaks into two or more pieces that are in one way or another misaligned. Non-displaced fractures occur when the bone breaks, but the separated pieces remain in their proper alignment.

Open and closed fractures refer to whether or not the bone punctures the skin. When a fracture is closed, the bone breaks but does not pierce the skin, so there is no open wound. With an open fracture, on the other hand, the bone breaks through the skin, which can place the patient at risk of developing an infection.

Source: WebMD

Bone fractures symptoms

Because many fractures don’t break the skin or produce a visible bend in the affected limb, patients often don’t realize that their bone is broken until they get an x-ray. Some patients operate under the misconception that they can’t walk on a broken bone; in fact, fractures can almost always support weight, albeit painfully.

If the patient has experienced a high-force impact and is feeling pain in the impacted area, it’s very possible that the bone has been fractured. Other signals include bruising, swelling, deformity, and crepitus (a crunching sensation under the skin).

The most common symptoms of bone fractures include:

  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Crepitus

Source: VeryWellHealth

What causes bone fractures?

Fractures nearly always result from a forceful impact. This force is most likely to occur due to a fall, trauma, or a direct blow. Patients may be at greater risk of fracturing a bone if their bones have been weakened due to previous injury or conditions like osteoporosis or a tumor.

Patients can also develop bone fractures from repeated stresses and strains, particularly if they participate in high-impact repetitive activities like running. These fractures, which tend to be smaller than regular fractures, are called stress fractures. If not properly diagnosed, stress fractures can develop into more severe fractures over time.

The most common causes of bone fractures include:

  • Fall
  • Trauma
  • Direct blow
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Repeated stress

Source: Medical News Today

Physical therapy for bone fractures

Immediately after a patient is diagnosed with a bone fracture, their doctor may recommend that they see a physical therapist to learn how to go about their daily lives while using assistive devices (cane, crutches, cast). A physical therapist can help the patient to understand their weight-bearing restrictions, allowing them to safely go about their activities without putting themselves at risk of further injury.

When the cast has been removed or the patient no longer has to walk with an assistive device, a physical therapist can help with restoring strength and function to the affected body part. After an initial evaluation of strength, flexibility, and pain, a physical therapist will devise a treatment plan to improve mobility and strength.

Source: VeryWellHealth

Luna’s physical therapists treat bone fractures

Luna employs physical therapists that specialize in treating patients with bone fractures. Our PTs help patients adjust to life with their injuries, and formulate custom treatment plans to help patients recover once the bone has mended.

The best part? With Luna, patients can receive physical therapy for bone fractures right in the comfort of their own homes. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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