Fractures are broken bones and the severity and location depends on how significant the force was to break the bone. A fracture can occur from a traumatic incident on a sporting ground, motor vehicle accidents, falls, and repetitive stress.
At Aspire Physiotherapy Claremont some patients arrive after a traumatic sporting incident or an event that caused swelling, bruising over a bone. On some occasions, there can be a deformity of the bone. A significant amount of pain and inability to the use the limb or weight bear are common red flags! Trauma can also occur in other regions such as ribs or spinal fractures. Further damage and symptoms can occur if the fracture is unstable therefore it is advised to seek medical attention immediately. In the immediate acute stage – fracture detection is crucial!
It is quite common that if a fracture is suspected, immediate action is to attend the emergency department to be cleared by a doctor or orthopaedic consultant. Otherwise attending a general practitioner or physiotherapist. If a fracture is suspected a referral for imaging (such as an X-ray, MRI, CT scans) is required to insure correct alignment of the bones and provide management.
It is critical to follow up with a physiotherapist to optimise healing and facilitate normal function.
When should you commence Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy for fracture management is dependent on the type and location of the fracture. Your orthopaedic surgeon or general practitioner will provide you some guidance to when treatment should commence.
A great way to accelerate your recovery is attending physiotherapy within the first 6 weeks’ post fracture to prevent any stiffness in the joints and muscles surrounding the injured site. Once the doctors have cleared bone healing and alignment, physiotherapy can provide treatment to regain full range of motion and muscle function.
Most fractures heal approximately within 6 weeks however this can be dependent on the type, severity and location of the fracture. Additional to the fracture site there is a lot of muscle changes that have been damaged in the process.
Physiotherapy treatment after a fracture can involve reducing joint stiffness, swelling. Through specific exercises we can improve your range of motion, muscle length and strength, proprioception (awareness to that body part in space) endurance and overall function.