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How Fractures Heal

When you have a fracture or broken bone, it is important you stay off of your foot. Many of us take for granted our feet. We ignore the daily aches and pains until it becomes so bad we seek help.

There are many different types of fractures…

  1. Non-displaced fracture- These types of fractures are usually from an injury where the bone is broken but it is in a good position. These fractures can usually be treated conservatively with a Cast or walking boot and using crutches.
  2. Displaced fracture- These fractures are usually from a more traumatic or forcefully injury. In these cases the 2 sides of the break are separated more than 2 mm on x-ray. Displaced fractures are treated with surgery, usually involving plates and/or screws. If they are very displaced, they are can sometimes be set into a better position in the office before the surgery.
  3. Stress fracture- These are small “hairline” fractures of the bone. They cause inflammation and pain within the bone. Stress fractures are common in runners due to the constant impact on their foot. Stress fractures are treated with 6 weeks in a walking boot.
  4. Fracture with non-union- If a fracture is treated for an extended period of time, either in a cast or with surgery, and it still does not heal, this is called a non-union. Non-unions can be treated with revisional surgery. In some cases, they can also be treated with a bone stimulator that helps with the healing process.

Bone takes 6-8 weeks to heal. There is no way to make this happen more quickly. Healing bones are monitored with x-ray. Around the 3 week mark you will see soft, cloud-like bone on x-ray. By the 6-8 week mark, this will remodel into hard bone. If your doctor tells you to stay off your foot and you walk on it anyway, this will cause motion between the 2 pieces of broken bone making it difficult to heal. This will lengthen the healing process and can also cause a non-union.

Feel like you have a stress fracture or recent foot injury? Call Hollowbrook Foot Specialists today at (845) 298-9074. We offer same day appointments. We are serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.

By: Samantha DelRegno D.P.M.

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