Bone Fracture Repair – What You Must Know


A fractured bone or broken bone is a common injury that occurs when there is a break or crack in a bone. A bone fracture can be partial or complete – and can range from hairline fracture to severe and complex fractures. Treatment for a fractured bone depends on the type, location and severity of the fracture. To fix bone fractures, orthopedic doctors use a wide range of techniques and procedures including uses of braces, casting, splinting and surgical fixation. Surgical repair of fractures depends on the type, location and severity of the fracture.

To ensure the best outcomes for a patient, proper follow up care and healing process are essential following the treatment.

Types of Bone Fractures

Closed Fracture: The bone is broken but does not penetrate the skin.

Open Fracture: The bone breaks through the skin, increasing the risk of infection.

Displaced Fracture: The bone fragments are not aligned properly.

Non-Displaced Fracture: The bone fragments remain in their normal alignment.

Comminuted Fracture: The bone shatters into multiple pieces.

Greenstick Fracture: In this type of fracture, the bone bends and cracks but does not completely break. The fracture doesn’t extend all through the bone. It is common in children.

Stress Fracture: A hairline crack due to repetitive stress, often seen in athletes.

Immediate First Aid

If you suspect a bone fracture, take the following steps:

Immobilize the Injury: Keep the injured area as still as possible to prevent further damage.

Elevate: If applicable, elevate the injured limb to reduce swelling.

Apply Ice: Place an ice pack (wrapped in a cloth) on the injured area for 15-20 minutes.

Seek Medical Help: Fix an appointment with an orthopedic doctor or visit the nearest emergency room for professional evaluation and treatment.

Why you need a specialist doctor to fix your fractured bone?

A specialist orthopedic doctor has the expertise to restore the normal anatomy of the fractured bone.

It is better to consult an orthopedic doctor for fractured bone repair to prevent future complications.

Untreated fractures can undergo unusual healing and become weak and lose function.

If you don’t get proper professional care, you would face the following problems:

  • The fractured bone might not heal properly (non-union fracture).
  • The bone may heal in an unusual position (malunion fracture).
  • The fracture might take longer time than usual to heal (delayed union fracture).
  • The other complications of an untreated fractured bone may include infections at the fracture site and formation of blood clots.

Medical Assessment

An orthopedic doctor will assess the fracture through physical examination and imaging tests (X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs) to determine the type and severity of the fracture.

Treatment Options

Casting: Non-displaced fractures can often be treated with a cast to immobilize the bone, allowing it to heal naturally. Your doctor repositions and immobilizes your broken bone with a plaster of Paris or fiberglass cast. The cast holds the broken bone and allows it to heal in a correct position.

Splinting: Used for initial immobilization, especially in open fractures, until further treatment can be administered.

Surgery: Required for complex fractures, open fractures, or those that cannot be realigned through non-invasive methods. Surgical options include:

Internal Fixation: Orthopedic doctors use screws, plates, or rods to stabilize the bone.

External Fixation: A frame placed outside the body to hold the bone in place.

Bone Grafting: It involves transplanting bone tissue to help in fixing the fracture and healing.

Medication: Pain management and antibiotics (for open fractures) may be prescribed.


Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in the recovery process:

Physical Therapy: Helps in restoring strength, flexibility, and a range of motions in the affected area.

Weight-Bearing Progression: This involves gradual return to normal activities as guided by a healthcare professional.

Follow-up Care

Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor the healing progress, adjust treatment plans, and address any issues that may arise.

Prevention of Fractures

Bone fractures can lead to complications such as infection, delayed healing, or malunion (improper bone alignment). To prevent fractures, especially in high-risk individuals:

  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Engage in weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bones.
  • Use proper protective gear during physical activities.
  • Create a safe home environment to prevent falls.


Bone fracture repair involves a combination of immediate first aid, medical assessment, and appropriate treatment options. With proper care, most fractures can heal effectively, allowing patients to regain full functionality in the affected area. It’s essential to follow medical advice and engage in rehabilitation for a successful recovery.

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