The standard hospital way of treating fractures is to cast or brace the affected bone (where possible) and leave it to heal itself for at least 6 weeks. Once the cast is removed most people are left with a shrivelled, withered limb that then takes another few weeks or even months to return to full strength. If there is no cast, for instance in the case of a broken collar bone, this can leave people in significant pain for a number of weeks. The benefits of having your fracture treated and the healing of it accelerated are wide ranging, but ultimately it means a much quicker return to full fitness.
The benefits of fracture repair acceleration
By accelerating the healing time, the fracture can be repaired in a matter of 2 or 3 weeks and where a cast is used, this can be removed after only this short period of time. I have known motorcrossers to remove their own casts, but I would recommend having it x-rayed first (I now work with a private x-ray unit in Bath that are able to perform an additional x-ray so we can assess if the fracture is ready).
As the cast is removed much more quickly, there is less muscle wastage, and so you can return to fitness training and the track much quicker.
Which bones can be treated?
I have seen and treated I think every bone fracture presentation possible, and motorcyclists do unfortunately make up most of those that I see.. I have treated collarbones (clavicles), shoulder blades (scapula), femur, tibia, fibula, ribs, spines. We can work through casts and where pins have been inserted.
I have treated fractures for many years, and I have recently set up a new clinic where I have extended the range of treatments offered in order to further specialise in the healing of fractures. We have invested in the latest (and most beneficial treatment for fractures) ultrasound machine as well as the mainstay of my usual equipment, LASER and shortwave which all aid with the healing of fractures.
How does the treatment work?
Whenever we are injured, the body automatically makes blood rush to the area in order to help repair the damaged area. Part of the healing properties contained within the blood are calcium ions. When a broken bone or fracture (they mean the same thing) is registered by the body there is an increase in the amount of calcium delivered to aid the healing, which lays down solid replacement bone structure at the fracture, thus healing the break. All of the modalities I use excite cellular activity at the fracture site and increase the rate of the healing process by a significant amount.
Occasionally, damage to the soft tissues, ie tendons, muscles, extend the healing time, but I have found these can be addressed well with my usual physiotherapy methods including electrotherapy, acupuncture, and ice massage.
Simon Barnes is the Consultant Physiotherapist at The StoneHouse Clinic at Hartham Park, Corsham, Wiltshire near Bath, and has easy access to the A4, A420 and the M4 motorway. Appointments start from just £35 and can be made by ringing the appointment line – 01249 700417. If you have any queries regarding a fracture then please email [email protected] or visit www.stonehouseclinic.co.uk for more details.