Fracture cases

Renew provides a wide range of specialized orthopedic rehabilitation Fractures like most injuries come in many forms from relatively minor fractures to major life threatening injuries. The following information will allow you to find out where your fracture fits in this continuum so you have a better understanding of what it is, how and why it occurred, what the healing process involves and what you can do to assist this process.

Causes of Fractures

1. Traumatic Incident
Direct: bone breaks a the point of impact. This is usually associated with soft tissue damage.
Indirect: bone breaks away from the point of impact and soft tissue injury at the fracture site doesn’t always occur.

2. Repetitive Stress
An example of this type of injury is a stress fracture that occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb increased shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the excess load of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture. Due to the nature of the overuse injury the bone is not allowed adequate rest to repair after activity.

3. Pathological (abnormal weakening of the bone)
If the bone has become weakened (eg tumor) or brittle (Paget’s disease, osteoporosis) fractures can occur with normal stresses.

Physiotherapy Management of Fractures:

Management of a fracture is determined by the type and location of the fracture and is specific to the individuals circumstances. The fracture may be placed in a splint, cast, a brace, surgically fixated or placed in traction. Usually they will remain in this period of 4-6 weeks.

Physiotherapy management of fracture may include detection of the fracture after injury and referral or application of the appropriate intervention. However most physiotherapy management will be after a period of immobilisation and will involve rehabilitation of the structure around the fracture site Physiotherapy may include:

Muscle Assessment: Following immobilization muscles surrounding the fracture site lose bulk, length and strength. It is very important that a safe exercise program is prescribed and progressed under the supervision of a physiotherapist to restore muscle length and balance and prevent secondary complications occurring.

Joint Mobilization:  Joint stiffness often occurs when a limb is not allowed to move for several weeks. At Focus on Movement Physiotherapy Centre staff is trained in techniques which can improve and restore range of movement of the affected joints once the fracture has healed.

Massage: The release of tight bands and trigger points that occur within muscles following splinting or casting has been shown to reduce pain and restore muscle length. has healed.

Heat and Electrotherapy: It is very common for stiffness within soft tissues to occur following prolonged immobilization. Heat and Electrotherapy have been shown as useful adjuncts to manual treatment and exercise therapy in relieving pain and restoring muscle length.

Gait Education: If your fracture requires the use of gait aids such as crutches then the physiotherapist can advise you with the most appropriate equipment and way of walking that promotes optimal healing and safety.

Seek treatment at an early stage
Ensure you physiotherapist provides you with methods of self treatment.

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