Most average person would face a fractured bone at least once in their life time, whether as a child during school period, as an adult in an accident / sports or in old age from falling. Broken bone can be painful and annoyingly take a long time to heal.
You have various symptoms to indicate whether its fractured bones or it it might be a bad muscle pain:
- Intense sharp pain – It would feel almost like knife piercing through skin and then stop / starting – not that I would know what knife in my skin would feel like.
- Deformed in shape – Limb (s) would seem out of shape
- Swelling, Bruising and Numbness – This is an expected behavior of our body. Need to keep on moving parts around where possible to keep the blood flow. Make sure the broken area is not affected during this minor exercise.
- Problem with free movement – difficulty doing normal movements with your limbs then you need to seek immediate medical help.
I got thrown off Quad bike whilst being on holiday and I wasn’t sure if I had a fracture or not. My palms were covered with cuts and debris and the first aid guys at this place just did a shoddy job of cleaning up my wounds.
I was ignoring the pain for 3 hours and I noticed my elbow swelling up badly and I could NOT open or close my arm freely. At this point I knew I had to make a visit to hospital but was concerned slightly as I wasn’t sure of local hospital fees or standards.
Anyway, I took a taxi and went to main hospital of Zagreb (Croatia) where they instantaneously diagnosed that i have a fractured elbow following a X-Ray scan result. They put a temporary plaster / cast with air vent so I could fly back – Wasn’t aware that cabin pressure can swell up your fracture if cast is fully covered without air vent.
I didn’t know there were so many different types of fractures to bones until I had one (comminuted fracture);
- Greenstick fracture: The bone is usually bent, half broken and happens mainly to children.
- Transverse fracture happens right angle to the bone’s axis.
- Oblique fracture is when the bone break diagonally and commonly takes place around tibia or femur.
- Comminuted fracture which has more than one piece and usually caused by high impact trauma such as car accident.
- An impacted or also known as buckle fracture is when two ends drive in to each other.
- You can get weaken bone due to osteoporosis that can cause bone fracture.
You can read more information on fractures here on WebMd.
Fracture healing food
Food high in calcium: In order to heal fractured bones, eat those food items that have high quantity of calcium such as green vegetables, fish, dairy products like milk , yogurt and cheese. 2 glasses of milk will boost the immune system and helps bone grow quicker.
Foods that contain Vitamin K: Helps heals fractured bones so eat those foods which contain high amount of Vitamin K such as Kale, broccoli, spinach, and other green vegetables.
Protein pact food: The protein is essential in rebuilding bones and tissues of the body. So try to take protein in your diet with supplements like fish and beef.
Vitamin C: Helps to produce collagen, an essential component for skin and tissues. So intake foods that contain high amount of Vitamin C in your diet like fresh oranges, strawberries, bell peppers and tomatoes. Oranges can reduce pain and is an inflammatory agent helping immune system.
Zinc: An important nutrient for faster rebuild of fractured bones. To increase your intake of zinc, add beef, pumpkin seeds, and spinach to your diet.
Foods to avoid after fracture
Alcohol: Very dangerous for the bones as it can cause decay. With a fresh fractured bone, it can increase inflammation giving you prolonged pain.
Salt: It removes the calcium from the bones so minimize the use of salt in your diet for a speedy recovery from splintered bone.
Sugar and refined grains: Not the best nutrient when you are trying to heal broken bone as it slows down recovery.
Sweetened beverages: Sweet can remove calcium from the bones and makes them weak.
Caffeine: Large consumption of coffee daily with sugar can have detrimental effect on the process of healing bones.
Treatment for broken bone
Body naturally heal fractured bones fast on its own. Wearing a cast helps to keep the bone in place while it heals. After the fracture has been immobilized, you can then begin natural remedies to help heal fractured bones fast.
Vibration therapy can accelerate the process of bone fracture healing quicker time. The doctors make the patient to stand on the vibration stand for 5 to 20 minutes, twice daily to improve osteoclast development.
Oils used to heal:
Cypress, Fir and helichrysum oil is used to accelerated recovery of fractured bone. As the physician recommend to apply the oil three times a day.
Fracture Healing Timeline
First few weeks are the crucial for speedy recovery, so ensure the cast stays on and you take plenty of rest.
Overall it can take on average between five to seven weeks depending on age, body mass, bone density and type of fracture. You may have a wound hidden under the cast or plaster, keep an eye on it for infection. I would recommend checking with Doctor to see if they can send a camera through cast to inspect.
I was given Naproxen 500mg tablets to take twice daily after meals for inflammation around fracture. Tetanus injection in case my cuts gets infected. Co-codamol / Tremadol for pain relief. These are some strong pain killers with serious side effects, so consult your Doctor before going through your medicine cupboard.
Keeping clean with cast
I miss having really nice long warm showers now that I have a cast and a sling. So I decided to cover my cast fully with cling film and used dressing tape to ensure water cannot get through. Took the sling off and on low power, I managed to have a good shower.
You can have bath if you have a good hand rail and non slippery mat. Always make sure you have someone on standby and leave the door open in case you need help.
Clean with wet warm towel in areas around the cast. Try not to get water inside the cast it will start to smell pretty bad like wet clothes left in your washing basket for weeks.