A fracture is a break in bone or cartilage, with accompanying damage to the bone marrow, periosteum (the membrane that covers the surface of bones and attaches bone to muscle), and the adjacent soft tissues. Fractures are classified according to their character and location.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have experience with all types of fractures and are specialists in trauma care and pain management. If deemed necessary, MRI or x-rays can be taken on site, using the latest techniques, to give the physician the most accurate picture of the injury.
Fracture management consists initially of realignment of the broken limb, followed by immobilization of the extremity through the use of a splint. Splinting is crucial in providing symptomatic relief for the patient, as well as in preventing potential nerve, vascular, or soft-tissue injury. Pain management is a priority, and patients receive the necessary analgesics, in the form of acetaminophen or opiates, to control their pain.
Surgery can include closed or open reduction of the fracture. Both procedures are performed under anesthesia. In closed reduction, the bones are manipulated to restore alignment, and a cast is applied to hold the bones in place. Open reduction is called for when metal hardware is required to hold the bones in place. In open reduction, an incision is made so that pins, plates, or rods can be inserted into the bone to maintain its position while healing occurs.
Treatment for stress fractures is conservative: rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. Rest is particularly important in the treatment of stress fractures, as returning to normal activities too soon can cause re-injury, even allowing the stress fracture to extend through the entire bone. These fractures can take six to eight weeks to heal (as long as the fracture can still be seen on x-ray).