Your bones can withstand strong forces, but an accident, fall, or sports injury might produce an impact that’s just too powerful, resulting in a broken bone.
Broken bones can range from small hairline cracks to severe compound fractures. Bones have the ability to heal on their own, but without treatment, they might heal in a way that makes them weaker and prone to injury in the future.
At Tri-State Orthopaedics, Apurva Dalal, MD, and our team are experts in diagnosing and treating fractures. We’re here to help your bones heal properly so you don’t suffer larger health problems down the road.
Risk factors for fracturing bones
Bones have a natural flexibility, allowing them to bend under pressure and recover without breaking. But a car accident, fall, or other type of mishap could generate enough force to bend a bone beyond its limits.
The most common fractures occur in the feet and ankles, legs, hips, and arms. Small fractures may not significantly impact your mobility, but severe fractures may make it impossible to move the affected area.
Anyone at any age can get a fracture. As an adult, there are a number of risk factors that may make it more likely that you’ll suffer a fracture. Common factors that may make your bones prone to fractures include:
- Being older
- Poor diet
- Heavy alcohol use
- Smoking cigarettes
- Playing contact sports, such as hockey and football
Hairline fractures can be very small and might not be noticed at first. They’re common in feet, and they may only cause pain when you’re bearing weight on your feet. But fractures larger than hairline cracks are often immediately noticeable. If you or someone near you suffers a fracture, seek prompt medical attention.
Potential complications of inadequate fracture care
Fractures generally take up to 12 weeks to fully heal. Delaying treatment can put you at risk for short-term pain and long-term complications. If you don’t get treatment early enough, your bone might start to heal on its own. Bones that are out of alignment can heal that way. This condition is known as malunion, and it can affect your ability to use the bone normally later on.
Children with fractures that don’t heal right might be at risk for growth disturbances or deformity if their growth plate was affected in the fracture. Other complications that people might experience if their fracture isn’t cared for properly include:
- Nerve damage
- Joint stiffness
- Decreased strength in affected area
- Risk of future fracture
If you have a broken bone, you need expert care. To get the help you need, book an appointment online or over the phone with Tri-State Orthopaedics today.