Fracture Care | Fishersville, VA
Comprehensive Care for Fractures
A fracture is a break in the bone that occurs when the bone cannot withstand outside forces. Fractures most frequently occur in automobile accidents, falls or heavy contact sports. Fractures can range from stress fractures to complete separation. The main types of fractures include:
- Stress fracture – typically caused by overuse, the bone weakens under repetitive force and cannot absorb the impact. Stress fractures occur most commonly in the lower leg or foot.
- Simple/Incomplete fracture – Occurring most often in children, the bone bends rather than breaks and stays within closed skin
- Compound fracture – the most serious type of fracture, the bone penetrates the skin and exposes the bone and deep tissue to the outside environment and infections are possiable.
Shenandoah Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine offers comprehensive care for fractures. From stress fractures to compound fractures we have the clinical experience to diagnose and treat fractures of the bone.
Symptoms of a Fracture
Depending on the severity of a fractured bone, symptoms may be extremely obvious or more subtle at first. The most commonly broken bone is the shin bone or tibia. From stress fractures to compound fractures, this bone endures excessive amounts of stress. As we age, our bones weaken. For people over the age of 65, it is common to fracture a hip in a fall. Some symptoms of fractures include:
- Obvious deformity or misshapen bone or joint
- Bruising and swelling around fracture
- Severe pain that worsens with movement
- Visible bone showing
- Limited ability to move
- Inability to bear weight
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that you have fractured a bone. You should not move a broken bone if it is unstable, as this will make it worse. Early diagnosis and treatment will help your bone heal more efficiently and offer a better long term outcome.
Treatment for a Fracture
Bone fractures are common acute health issues for orthopedists. Improper management of a newly fractured bone can lead to long-term dysfunction of the bone causing pain and immobility.
Bone fractures are diagnosed by X-ray or MRI. Depending on the location and severity of a fracture, the bone will need to be immobilized until the bone can heal and new bone forms around the break. You may have to wear a boot and use crutches for stress fractures of the foot or shin. A splint or cast may be needed for upper extremity fractures. If the fracture is severe, surgical treatment may be needed to stabilize the break with pins or screws to keep the bone in place.
Fractures usually heal in approximately 8 – 12 weeks or less for children. A well-designed physical therapy regimen may sometimes be necessary to help you return to your activities in the safest and quickest way possible. Physical therapy for post fracture rehabilitation usually begins with stretching and range of motion exercises. Tendons and ligaments may be stiff from lack of use. Once the bone is fully healed it is safe to begin muscle building exercises. A gradual increase in activity is the preferred method of safely returning to sports.