Car accidents happen every day, sometimes resulting in serious injuries like broken bones. If you are currently seeking medical treatment, you may wonder, “How long do bone fractures take to heal?” The answer depends on several factors.
This article will discuss the importance of finding the right orthopedic doctor to heal your injuries. Consider the following information, then seek help from no-fault car accident doctors in New York.
Leading Causes of Bone Fractures
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over two million Americans sustained injuries from car accidents in 2020. Common car accident injuries include broken arms, legs, ribs, and hips. Even in low-impact collisions, motorists can fracture their bones.
Medical professionals categorize each type of fracture by shape:
- A transverse fracture occurs when the bone splits horizontally.
- A longitudinal fracture consists of a vertical break along the entire length of the bone.
The time it takes to recover depends on the density of the affected bone and the type of fracture sustained. Recovery can take anywhere between four weeks and several months.
How Does a Bone Fracture Heal After a Car Accident?
Your body will naturally repair bone fractures over time. However, without the proper medical attention, a bone could set in a misaligned position, causing subsequent complications as it heals. Let’s take a look at the three stages of the healing process:
After a bone breaks, inflammation will appear around the affected area and last several days. You may notice discoloration and bruises on your skin. Blood will rush into the fracture and clot over time.
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience a bone fracture. Some injuries may lead to infections in the surrounding soft tissue.
Several weeks after an accident, the fibrous tissue and soft callus will begin restructuring at the fracture site. Eventually, the production of hard bone will replace the soft material and strengthen the area.
Remodeling and Healing
How long do bone fractures take to heal after the regrowth phase? According to Sam Houston State University, it takes about four to eight months for your body to completely remodel the bone. The affected area returns to its normal shape during this stage, and swelling decreases.
You can expect normal blood flow around the fracture site during the remodeling stage. Like most injuries, bone fractures generally heal faster in children than in adults. Significant cell development enables the body to recover quickly.
How to Shorten Your Fracture Recovery Time
Following a doctor’s orders is the best way to streamline your recovery when you experience a bone fracture. Your doctor will stabilize the affected area and offer a personalized treatment plan according to your medical history and needs.
Securing the Bone
A orthopedist may recommend splints, casts, or supportive wrappings to keep the bone in the correct position as it heals. This method reduces any uneven bone production that could cause immobility or infections in the future. If you have a fractured arm, expect to wear a cast for six to eight weeks.
Remember that your bone may need more time to heal after the cast comes off. Continue following your doctor’s advice for the best results.
Consider Your Physical Activity
You should avoid excessive physical activity when you have a fractured bone. Additional fractures can cause bone debris to damage the surrounding muscle and soft tissue.
Your doctor will help you determine which physical activity is appropriate for your condition. During the later weeks of the healing process, your doctor may encourage you to begin light exercise to strengthen the affected area. In the meantime, be sure to call your physician with any questions you may have about physical activity.
Getting the Right Nutrients
Maintaining a healthy diet is another effective way to speed up healing. Eating meals high in protein and Vitamin D will fortify the muscles around the fracture site. Adequate potassium, calcium, and magnesium levels can also support bone growth.
According to WebMD, adults should consume at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily to sustain healthy bones. If you have specific food allergies, ask a doctor or dietician for supplement recommendations.
Avoid Substance Use
How long do bone fractures take to heal if you smoke tobacco or use other substances? Drug and alcohol use can significantly slow down the healing process. In some cases, these activities can inhibit your blood vessels from receiving oxygen and restrict their flow through the body.
Consuming marijuana or other psychoactive substances can also lower your reaction time and put you at greater risk for additional injuries.
What to Expect During Your Bone Fracture Recovery
With the proper medical attention, you should expect most fractures to heal within just a few months. Consider exploring additional resources during the process to prevent future injuries. Physical therapists and pain management specialists can educate you on protecting yourself.
Additionally, these medical professionals can show you daily, at-home exercises that promote a healthy body. If you notice complications during your recovery, schedule an appointment with your doctor. They may recommend alternative treatment plans, such as internal fixation if your fracture takes longer than expected.
Find Experienced Auto Accident Doctor Near Me
Don’t spend hours of your day searching for “a car accident doctor near me.” At No-Fault Doctors, we developed a free online directory that helps you find a medical professional quickly. Our selected orthopedic specialists accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection).
You may be able to schedule a same-day appointment at an orthopedic clinic near you, so don’t put off treatment any longer.
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How long do bone fractures take to heal? Find the answers you need with No-Fault Doctors at (888) 970-5065. We list professionals from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.