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How to take care of a fracture?

How do I care for someone with an open (compound) fracture?

  • Keeping the fractured extremity elevated. A general rule for a fractured lower extremity is to: “Keep the foot elevated above the knee and the knee above the heart”.
  • Inform the doctor if the person has increased pain, swelling, shortness of breath, changes in drainage at the site of injury, chills, and fever.
  • Provide the person with healthy meals.
  • Do fractures require emergency care? A fracture often requires emergency treatment at a hospital. An example of a minor fracture that may not require emergency care is a fracture of the tip of a toe. If you think that bones may be broken in the back, neck, or hip or of bone is exposed, do not move the person; instead, call 911 for help.

    How long does it take for a bone fracture to heal? In cases where the stress fracture is more severe, then it may take anywhere between 10 to 12 weeks for the fracture to heal completely.

    Do fractures heal itself? Bones have a tremendous capacity for healing themselves, and with proper treatment, most all fractures will heal without complication. However, some fractured bones have difficulty healing. When a bone is slow to heal, we call this a “delayed union.” When a bone does not heal, we call this a “nonunion.”1 

    How do you repair a bone fracture? While some bones can heal by wearing a cast, others may require more invasive treatments, such as bone fracture repair. Bone fracture repair is a surgery to fix a broken bone using metal screws, pins, rods, or plates to hold the bone in place.

    When to go to the hospital for a bone fracture?

    When to go to the hospital for a bone fracture? A fracture often requires emergency treatment at a hospital. An example of a minor fracture that may not require emergency care is a fracture of the tip of a toe. If you think that bones may be broken in the back, neck, or hip or of bone is exposed, do not move the person; instead, call 911 for help.

    What can be used to hold open fractures in place? In some cases, devices such as pins, plates, screws, rods, or glue are used to hold the fracture in place. Open fractures must also be cleaned thoroughly to avoid infection.

    What to do if you think someone has broken a bone in their back? If you think that bones may be broken in the back, neck, or hip or of bone is exposed, do not move the person; instead, call 911 for help. In other cases, you may call for assistance or transport the person to the emergency room.

    Where to go for a broken hand or foot? Normally, broken bones of the hand, wrist, ankle, or foot may be treated at the local urgent care center.