Fractures require immediate and specialized medical treatment. Depending on the location of a bone break, your doctor will immobilize the bone so that it can heal. Sometimes the bones can be set in place easily from the outside, while severe or complex fractures may require surgery and screws or plates to get them properly aligned.
By the time a cast or brace is removed, the muscles and supporting tissues are likely to be stiff and atrophied. Physical therapy is an important part of treatment for a bone fracture. It is the best way to regain strength and function in the injured area.
The location of a break also impacts your treatment plan and will dictate the general type of physical therapy that your doctor recommends.
Physical Therapy After a Leg Fracture
As your leg fracture heals, you’ll want to avoid putting the usual amount of weight on it. A physical therapist may show you the proper way to use a cane or crutches. Light exercises and movement can help prevent or reduce muscle stiffness and atrophy that occurs from reduced activity.
Once the cast or splint is removed, physical therapy restores range of motion and strength to your muscles. If your ability to maintain balance is affected, exercises to shift your weight back and forth between your legs can help reduce your risk of falling.
Physical Therapy After an Arm or Wrist Fracture
During a fall, many people suffer a fracture in the wrist and forearm when putting up their hands to break the fall and protect the face. If there is a fracture in either or both of your radius and ulna bones that make up the wrist and arm, then physical therapy will be vital to restore your mobility.
The application of cold to safely reduce swelling is a type of physical therapy that can be performed in-office or sometimes at home, before the use of a cast. Once an orthopedic specialist has assessed the fracture through an exam and imaging, it may be immobilized by a cast for six to eight weeks if it’s a simple fracture.
After the bones have healed and the cast is removed, range of motion and strengthening exercises may be recommended to restore function to your wrist. Massage can also help increase circulation and break up scar tissue that can hamper movement.
Physical Therapy After a Spinal Fracture
People with significantly less bone density, such as those with osteoporosis, are at risk for spinal fractures. Physical therapy can help you regain strength and be active without fear of reinjuring yourself. It is common to shift posture by stooping to relieve pressure on the broken vertebrae, but this can cause the bones to heal improperly.
Strengthening the core muscles in physical therapy helps to keep your spine straight, as does wearing a brace for support. While healing, a physical therapist can show you how to perform activities to reduce pain and prevent further damage to your spine.
Total Bone Care for Fractures and More in South Florida
Total Orthopaedic Care provides comprehensive orthopedic care and physical therapy for adults and children in Broward County, South Florida. If you or your child has a fracture, make an appointment with our experienced orthopedic physicians and physical therapists.
We provide expert care, from imaging to treatment, at our locations in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes. Call (954) 735-3535 for an appointment today, or request an appointment online.