The Importance of Early Fracture Care

If you have a fracture, you have a broken bone. But, that doesn’t mean the bone is necessarily split in two. Instead, fractures can vary in size and severity, and they can occur for a variety of reasons. No matter the extent or cause of the fracture, however, it’s important to get medical care as quickly as possible.

At Orthopaedic Care Specialists in North Palm Beach, Florida, orthopedic surgeon Thomas F. Saylor, MD, treats patients of all ages. In this blog, he explains why you should see a doctor no matter how big or small your fracture is.

Fracture basics

Since a fracture describes a broken bone, many people think it takes an accident or injury to get one. Many people also think a fractured bone has to look obvious. These misconceptions, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The two kinds of fractures Dr. Saylor sees most often are due to overuse and osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes bones to weaken. These fractures involve hairline cracks in the bones without an obvious cause or significant disfigurement of the affected area. And, these small breaks can grow progressively worse with time, leading to intense pain and even reduced mobility.

So how do you know if you have a fracture? There may be different types of broken bones, but they all usually share one symptom: pain. In fact, even the smallest hairline crack can trigger severe and debilitating discomfort.

Common signs of a fracture include:

Some fractures can also cause additional symptoms, such as pale or clammy skin, nausea, or dizziness.

Why early fracture care matters

You probably wouldn’t delay a doctor visit if you noticed exposed bone or a visual deformity in the area. However, it’s just as important to treat less obvious fractures as quickly as possible. 

One of the main reasons to seek medical attention for a fracture is to restore the bone’s alignment and stabilize it to ensure it heals correctly. This process — known as fixation — often involves supporting the area with a splinter cast. 

Some fractures, however, need more extensive fixation techniques. In these cases, Dr. Saylor may insert rods, pins, plates, or screws to hold the broken bone more securely. He may use these support structures internally or extend them through the skin to external supports. If your fracture requires surgical repair, Dr. Saylor may use minimally invasive techniques, which may reduce your recovery time and reduce your risk of additional complications.

Even if your broken bone doesn’t require fixation treatments, it’s essential to see a doctor. That’s because stress fractures from overuse or hairline cracks from osteoporosis can worsen over time. Plus, it’s important to take steps to avoid additional fractures in the future, especially if you have weakened bones from a chronic condition, such as osteoporosis.

If you suspect you have a fracture, don’t risk your health by ignoring it. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Orthopaedic Care Specialists today.

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