How is a Fracture Diagnosed and Treated?
Bone healing is a natural process and the treatment of fracture focuses on providing the injured bone with the best circumstances for optimum healing.
The diagnosis of fracture is made by physical examination by identifying the signs and symptoms of the patient.
An X-ray and sometimes CT-scan or MRI may be advised.
The treatment of bone fractures is broadly classified as -
- Conservative treatment- This involves pain management, immobilization or other non-surgical stabilization.
- Surgical intervention
After reduction of the fracture i.e. lining up the ends of the broken bone, it is necessary to ensure that they stay aligned while the healing process occurs. The joints above and below the site of injury are immobilized to prevent movement at the fracture site. It is done with the help of-
- Metal plates and screws
- Intra-medullary nails
- External fixators
Physical therapy (physiotherapy) -
Physiotherapy is essential to restore muscle strength as well as mobility to the affected area.
Surgery is done only if conservative treatment has failed, is very likely to fail, or likely to result in a poor functional outcome.
Sometimes, bone grafting is used to treat a fracture. Bones may also be reinforced with metal implants.