What is a fracture?

A fracture is an interruption in the continuity of bone.

Causes of fracture
Most fractures are a result of some form of injury. This might be a direct blow, a fall from a height or a weight falling onto a part of the body. Other fractures may be caused by indirect trauma, such as falling on an outstretched hand leading to the transmission of force up the arm causing a fracture of the clavicle.

Twisting forces may result in fractures of the tibia and fibula, for example during soccer or skiing when the weight of the body rotates on a fixed foot.Stress or fatigue fractures are caused by repeated minor trauma, which can occur after walking or running long distances, and often affect the foot metatarsals.

Pathological fractures :
These occur as the result of a disease that weakens the composition of the bone itself such as diseases osteoporosis, Paget's disease, carcinoma, osteomyelitis.

Role of physiotherapy
The physiotherapist's role is to identify the cause of the problem and to select the appropriate procedure to alleviate or eliminate the cause of the loss of movement. By Using specific exercises, the aim is to reduce any swelling, regain full muscle power and joint movement and to bring back full function.

The treatment will depend very much on the problems identified during your initial assessment, but may include a mixture of the following:

  • Soft tissue massage, particularly to manage Edema and swelling.
  • Scar management if the patient had surgery to fix the fracture.
  • Ice therapy.
  • Stretching exercises to regain joint range of movement.
  • Joint manual therapy and mobilizations to assist in regaining joint mobility.
  • Structured and progressive strengthening regime.
  • Balance and control work and gait (walking) re-education where appropriate.
  • Taping to support the injured area/help with swelling management.
  • Return to sport preparatory work and advice where required.

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