Bone fractures are common. Anyone of us can result in having a broken bone, either due to injury or a planned surgery.
There are 206 bones in the body, thus there are numerous different types of fractures, each having its own complications and healing time too. E.g. the fracture of finger will heal differently from the fracture of your leg bone, which is different from the foot bone fracture healing time and that would be different from arm or backbone, etc.
Also note, that the complete bone fracture healing time varies according to age too. Children’s bones heal up faster than adults and the speed of bone healing slows down as the age progresses.
We’re lucky that medical technology has advanced so much that we can easily understand the state and extent of damage to the bones. Bones broken at single place or broken at multiple places require different management usually. Also, we can monitor the healing process during the treatment too using various diagnostic imaging technologies like x-ray, ct-scan, MRI, etc.
Average broken bone healing time
how long does a bone take to heal? The answer may vary depending upon the age and bone involved, and also how the fracture was caused, etc. It will be different for different bones, jaw bone heals differently from tibia fibula or radius ulna. Also, bone fracture healing time in adults is different from bone fracture healing time in children. But it doesn’t mean that if you shouldn’t worry if your kids got fracture, it’s equally important for them to be treated properly to avoid any life long complication and deformity in their bones structure.
On average, bones take from 4 weeks to 8 weeks for healing. This is highly variable though. Sometimes a bone may heal in 3 weeks while sometimes it may take around 10 weeks to heal too (yes bones take a long time to heal). Complete recovery may sometimes take up to 4 months even. This may be followed by physiotherapy after the bone healing completes, to return the muscles and joints to the normal functioning as part of the treatment.
Consult with your doctor to confirm how long you need to care for the bone until it’s properly healed and joined. He might be able to tell you better that how long does it take a cracked bone to heal in situations like yours.
Remember, if you don’t let the bone heal properly, it may have long lasting effects on your future life. It may not only heal improperly, but also get infected in some cases or even not heal at all.
How do I help a broken bone heal faster?
So you must be wondering, how can I help my broken bone heal faster? Well one thing to note is that there isn’t any magic supplement or potion that can make a bone heal in half the time or so. However, there are various ways which can speed up the bone healing process, making the fracture heal in shortest time possible.
Some steps and methods to help a fractured bone heal faster are as follows.
1. Eat right amount of calories
Human body needs a lot of energy to repair broken bones. This might not seem obvious though. Some people tend to reduce their calorie and nutrient intake due to inactivity during healing period. This is not recommended at all. You can worry about reducing weight after you get better, so stop worrying about that for now.
A severely broken bone can need more than 6000 calories a day too for healing. But of course not all fractures need that level of calorie intake.
Simply keep your usual healthy intake so that your body don’t go low on energy.
2. Good protein intake (and water too)
Protein are very important in bone healing, just like in any other injury to the body. Our body needs high protein in take during fracture healing process as the bone is made up of living protein. Proper protein quantity is important to help the bone form a rigid callus instead of a soft callus. In short, protein is highly important in getting bone strength during the fracture healing process.
You should include a lot of water in your diet too if you add foods rich in protein as bone fracture healing food.
3. Calcium and other minerals
Calcium, phosphorus and other minerals are important part of a bone. Keeping a normal healthy diet during the fracture recovery process is usually enough to provide you with healthy minerals that are needed by our body.
Calcium is important and can be found in:
Green leafy vegetables
Milk (go for organic one, boxed ones are toxic usually and in fact result in slower bone healing)
If you want to use supplements, always consult your doctor before doing so. As some supplements can be dangerous during the fracture healing process too.
4. Keep the fracture site immobilised
No don’t start stressing your fractured bone the same day. This step starts after the complete normal recovery has happened. Like after 6 weeks. This will help you gain muscle strength back and also improve strength of your bone too. However, remember that do not attempt to stress or exercise (or anything that causes movement and vibration at the fractured joint) during the normal healing process.
5. Be happy
Our mental state has a profound impact on our physical health. Being happy and not worried about your injury will help you heal better and pass along the recovery time in a better way too.
Don’t be bed bound all the time (unless you have a fracture of leg though) and do the easy movements. Like walk around and talk to your family if you’re just having an arm or wrist fracture.
However, before moving, confirm with your doctor if that kind of movement is not dangerous for your type of fracture.
Remember to visit your doctor regularly as he advices. They might repeat x-ray or other imaging techniques to confirm that the bone is healing properly.
In case you have any query or any abnormal feeling at the site of fracture during the healing process, rush to the hospital immediately to avoid any complication.