Do Broken Bones Repair Themselves?
Our bones can withstand a lot of physical force and are also very flexible. However, if the force is too great, bones can break. Provided that the conditions are right for the break to heal completely, a broken bone or fracture can actually repair itself.
Bone Fracture Healing Process
After a fracture, a blood clot forms around the break. Then, bone cells begin to form on the sides of the fracture line, moving towards the center of the break, until the break heals. Once it has completely healed, the clot or callus will be absorbed by new cells. The entire process of bone fracture healing can take weeks to months.
Broken bones are classified according to the characteristics of the break. A bone can break into two or more pieces and spread far apart with some parts piercing through the skin.
Complex bone fractures: The doctor needs to perform surgery. The soft tissues will likely have been damaged by the fractured bone.
However, for bone fractures that are classified as stress fractures, transverse, and oblique (nondisplaced), where the bone pieces are pretty much kept together, the bones can repair itself without surgical intervention.
Stress fractures (commonly affecting the foot and ankle): Your doctor may recommend that you use crutches to keep the weight off the affected foot.
Transverse and oblique nondisplaced fractures: The bones must be held in the correct position to allow for proper healing and prevent the movement of the body part, which is also referred to as immobilization. A cast is used to hold the broken bones in alignment. The cast typically needs to be worn for several weeks.
For optimal bone fracture healing, the body needs nutrients. You need to eat calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, kale, spinach, and sardines, along with an overall healthy diet. This helps reduce nutritional deficiencies, which can delay or interfere with bone fracture healing.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational, medical material.