Chances are, you’ll break a bone at some point. Some 6.8 million people in the United States experience a fracture each year, contributing to an average of two fractures per lifetime. The specifics of these fractures vary wildly, from which body part is impacted to how severe the injury. And while many fractures heal on their own over time, some need surgical intervention.
Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, provides fracture care drawing on their extensive experience and advanced technology to ensure proper healing. Read on to learn more about fractures, including signs that yours may require surgery.
A fractured bone is a bone that has developed a crack. That crack, or fracture, may be partial or extend through the entire bone. Broken bones stem from a broad range of occurrences, such as:
How do you know if your fracture is more complex and requires more than rest in a cast to heal properly? Here are some common reasons your doctor may recommend surgery.
Generally speaking, the more severe your fracture is, the more likely you’ll be to require surgery for sufficient healing. A compound fracture, in which bone pieces break through your skin, often requires prompt surgery to lower your risk for infection.
You may also need surgery if fragments on each side of the fracture need to be realigned, or if it’s comminuted, or broken into several parts. The same goes for multiple fractures at the same time, such as breaking several bones in your foot or arm at once.
The location of the fracture can also make a difference as far as surgical recommendations go. Your provider may recommend surgery if you’ve broken a femur bone, in your thigh bone, for example, because a surgical rod can help set and support the bone while it heals.
If you have a shoulder fracture that involves the breaking, crushing, or splitting of the ball of your upper arm, you may need surgery to replace the joint. Meanwhile, your surgeon may repair any damaged muscles and tendons.
Hip fractures usually require surgery, too, and within 1-2 days of your injury. Depending on the specifics of the break, we may suggest hip repair surgery, partial hip replacement surgery, or total hip replacement surgery.
Whether you need surgery or not, proper treatment is very important for full healing of a broken bone. If you attempt to ignore a fracture, or chalk it up to a sprain when you actually have a break, you could end up with deformity, damaged nerves, muscles, or ligaments, and chronic pain or swelling.
At Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our experts diagnose and treat fractures to help you regain mobility and strength, no matter the severity. In addition to any needed surgery, treatment measures may include:
To learn more about surgery for fractures or get the care you need, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website.