Physical Therapy Treatments to Help You Heal Faster
A fracture refers to an injury where the bone breaks or cracks due to some kind of trauma or repeated stress. This can include sudden impact, twisting, bending, or other forces that are too much for the bone to withstand. The healing process involves several steps that help restore the broken pieces of bone back, until the area is fully healed and functioning normally once again.
If you’ve sustained a fracture, our physical therapists are here to help. It is crucial that a fracture be stabilized as soon as possible after the fracture occurs, in order to prevent worsened damage to the affected area. Stabilization techniques may include wraps or braces to help keep the area compressed, and our team can also recommend healing modalities to enhance recovery.
Physical Therapy and Fracture Relief
As stated by the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, fractures have the best chances for successful healing if stabilized within the first 24-96 hours following injury, but ideally within the first 24 hours. The biggest factor to affect fracture stabilization is delay in medical care, as tissues and cartilage can thicken and become inflamed if left untreated, thus making stabilization more difficult. Additional factors that can affect fracture stabilization include the severity of trauma sustained to the injured area, the type of fracture you’ve sustained, and the degree of immobilization recommended by your provider.
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for fractures, with focus placed on restoring range of motion, strength, and function. It can begin at any point following your injury to ensure proper healing, stabilization, alignment, and recovery. During physical therapy sessions, patients may engage in activities such as stretching exercises, light weight bearing exercises, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound, as a way to optimize the healing process.
Depending on the nature of the fracture, other treatments such as joint mobilization or exercise bikes may be recommended. In addition to improving physical function, physical therapists also offer advice on how to strengthen a fractured area by engaging in daily activities that reduce pain and improve stability.
What About Stress Fractures?
Stress fractures in the lower extremity are a common injury among athletes, and physical therapy can play an important role in helping people to recover. When stress fractures occur, the goal is to allow the area to heal while also restoring strength, mobility, and function. Physical therapists can help patients improve their gait pattern, in order to return to activities safely while also decreasing the risk of sustaining future injuries.
Patients may also benefit from manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and activity modifications that support their rehabilitation goals. The ultimate focus of physical therapy treatment for stress fractures is to optimize healing and recovery while minimizing the chance of re-injury or chronic pain. Your physical therapist will advise you on proper stabilization techniques for keeping the area safe while healing.
Will My Fracture Require Surgery?
Severe fractures may require surgery to stabilize the affected area. Internal fixation surgery sets the bones internally with rods and screws, as opposed to externally with casts and splints. While this may sound a bit intimidating, internal fixation surgery actually allows for more proper healing and stabilization of the injured area.
These types of surgeries are typically only necessary for urgent cases, where manual stabilization isn’t feasible. Your primary physician will let you know right away if your fracture requires this type of care, and our therapists at PryFysio Physical Therapy can aid in your rehabilitation process following your procedure, if operative care is required.
Contact Our Compassionate and Caring Team Today
If you or a loved one has sustained a fracture, our physical therapists can assist in recovery and helping you get back to the activities you enjoy. Give us a call at (732) 812-5200 to schedule an appointment and get started on the path toward healing.