Orthopedic Injury (Bone Fracture)

  1. Definition

    Injury to the skeletal system and/or associated structures.

    Bone fractures, or breaks are the most common orthopedic injury associated with motor vehicle and other accidents or falls. Some individuals are more susceptible to fractures due to low bone density or osteoporosis.

  2. Symptoms and Treatment

    Symptoms of a fracture are:

    Out-of-place or misshapen limb or joint
    Swelling, bruising or bleeding
    Intense pain
    Numbness and tingling
    Limited mobility or inability to move a limb
    You need to get medical care right away for any fracture. You may need to wear a cast or splint.

    Sometimes you need surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep the bone in place.

    The healing of a fracture is can be described in 3 step phases.

    The first phase is the inflammation stage. A blood clot forms that brings the inflammatory ‘clean-up’ cells to the area, followed by repair cells. The cells begin the repair process laying done new bone matrix and cartilage, while other cells dissolve and recycle bone debris.

    The second phase is the reparative stage that begins approximately 2 weeks after the fracture occurs. Proteins consolidate into a soft callus that will eventually harden into a hard callus as the bone knits together over a 6-12 week period of time.

    The third and final phase is the remodeling phase, or a process known as bony substitution. In this phase the callus begins to mature and remodel itself from woven bone (mechanically weak) into stronger lamellar bone.

    Physical therapy is frequently recommended to help strengthen muscles and reduce painful motions and increase range of motion in the recovery process.

    Recovering from a fracture or in some cases multiple fractures can be a long process in which the individual may be severely limited in performing routine daily activities.

  3. What we can do to help

    Either independently or in conjuction with an insurance adjuster we can arrange for an occupational therapist to meet with you and assess your needs and assist with obtaining the equipment or services you require during your recovery.

    We can arrange personal care, homemaking and/or transportation services and ensure you have equipment such as a wheelchair, bathroom or kitchen aides to make your recovery as comfortable as possible.

    If you need treatment that you cannot afford, we can assist you by obtaining benefits from the insurance company, obtaining an injury loan or referring you to a treatment provider that will delay payment for services until your claim settles.

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