Treatment of Broken Bones
Intramedullary (IM) rodding is a surgical procedure to stabilize a broken bone by inserting a metal rod in the hollow medullary canal of the bone. This part of the bone (where the bone marrow is) can be used to hold the rod and allow for early movement and weight-bearing in some cases. Jun 26, · Padding the splints can help reduce discomfort. Apply ice packs to limit swelling and help relieve pain. Don't apply ice directly to the skin. Wrap the ice in a towel, piece of cloth or some other material.
During the physical exam, your doctor will inspect the affected area for tenderness, swelling, deformity or an open wound. X-rays determine the extent of a broken collarbone, pinpoint its location and determine if there's injury to the joints. Your doctor might also recommend a CT scan to get more-detailed images. Restricting the movement of any broken bone is critical to healing.
To immobilize a broken collarbone, you'll likely need to wear an arm sling. How long immobilization is needed depends on the severity of the injury. Bone union usually takes three to six weeks for children and six to 12 weeks for adults. A newborn's collarbone that breaks during delivery typically heals with only pain control and careful handling of the baby. To reduce pain and inflammation, your doctor might recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If you have severe pain, you might need a prescription medication that contains a narcotic for a few days. Rehabilitation begins soon after initial treatment. In most cases, it's important to begin some motion to minimize stiffness in your shoulder while you're still wearing your sling.
After your sling is removed, your doctor might recommend additional rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy to restore muscle strength, joint motion and flexibility. Surgery might be required if the fractured collarbone has broken through your skin, is severely displaced or is in several pieces.
Broken collarbone surgery usually includes placing fixation devices — plates, screws or rods — to maintain proper position of your bone during healing. Surgical complications, though rare, how to find area in math include infection and lack of bone healing. Applying ice to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes every few hours during the first two to three days after a collarbone break can help control pain and swelling.
Depending on the severity of the break, your family doctor or the emergency room physician may recommend that you or your child see an orthopedic surgeon. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Don't delay your care at How do doctors treat broken bones Clinic Schedule your appointment now for safe in-person care. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Diagnosis During the physical exam, your doctor will inspect the affected area for tenderness, swelling, deformity or an open wound.
More Information CT scan X-ray. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Clavicle fracture broken collarbone. American Academy of How do doctors treat broken bones Surgeons. Accessed Sept. Hatch RL, et al. Clavicle fractures. Peters MDJ. Surgical versus conservative interventions for treating broken collarbones in adolescents what is smart business casual adults.
Orthopedic Nursing. McKee-Garrett TM. Neonatal birth injuries. Related Broken collarbone. Associated Procedures CT scan X-ray. Mayo Clinic Marketplace Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
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broken wrist Put ice on the injury. Never put the ice directly on the skin--put it in a bag first with a layer of cloth between the bag and the skin. After holding ice on the injury for about 20 minutes, take it . This treatment is desirable for some, but not all, fractures. Traction. Traction is usually used to align a bone or bones by a gentle, steady pulling action. External Fixation. In this type of operation, metal pins or screws are placed into the broken bone above and below the fracture site. The pins or screws are connected to a metal bar.
A fracture is a broken bone. A bone may be completely fractured or partially fractured in any number of ways crosswise, lengthwise, in multiple pieces. Bones are rigid, but they do bend or "give" somewhat when an outside force is applied. However, if the force is too great, the bones will break, just as a plastic ruler breaks when it is bent too far. The severity of a fracture usually depends on the force that caused the break. If the bone's breaking point has been exceeded only slightly, then the bone may crack rather than break all the way through.
If the force is extreme, such as in an automobile crash or a gunshot, the bone may shatter. If the bone breaks in such a way that bone fragments stick out through the skin, or a wound penetrates down to the broken bone, the fracture is called an "open" fracture. This type of fracture is particularly serious because once the skin is broken, infection in both the wound and the bone can occur. A bone can fracture in different ways.
Some common fracture types are shown here. Many fractures are very painful and may prevent you from moving the injured area. Other common symptoms include:. Your doctor will do a careful examination to assess your overall condition, as well as the extent of the injury. He or she will talk with you about how the injury occurred, your symptoms, and medical history. The most common way to evaluate a fracture is with x-rays, which provide clear images of bone.
Your doctor will likely use an x-ray to verify the diagnosis. X-rays can show whether a bone is intact or broken. They can also show the type of fracture and exactly where it is located within the bone. A plaster or fiberglass cast is the most common type of fracture treatment, because most broken bones can heal successfully once they have been repositioned and a cast has been applied to keep the broken ends in proper position while they heal.
The cast or brace allows limited or "controlled" movement of nearby joints. This treatment is desirable for some, but not all, fractures. In this type of operation, metal pins or screws are placed into the broken bone above and below the fracture site. The pins or screws are connected to a metal bar outside the skin. This device is a stabilizing frame that holds the bones in the proper position while they heal.
In cases where the skin and other soft tissues around the fracture are badly damaged, an external fixator may be applied until surgery can be tolerated.
An external fixator applied to a broken femur thighbone. During this operation, the bone fragments are first repositioned reduced in their normal alignment, and then held together with special screws or by attaching metal plates to the outer surface of the bone.
The fragments may also be held together by inserting rods down through the marrow space in the center of the bone. A specially designed metal rod, called an intramedullary nail, provides strong fixation for this thighbone fracture. In this x-ray, the broken bones of the forearm are held in position by plates and screws while they heal. Fractures take several weeks to several months to heal, depending on the extent of the injury and how well you follow your doctor's advice.
Pain usually stops long before the fracture is solid enough to handle the stresses of normal activity. Even after your cast or brace is removed, you may need to continue limiting your movement until the bone is solid enough for normal activity. During your recovery you will likely lose muscle strength in the injured area. Specific exercises will help you restore normal muscle strength, joint motion, and flexibility.
Proper diet and exercise may help in preventing some fractures. A diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D will promote bone strength. Weightbearing exercise also helps keep bones strong. AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice.
Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.
Related Media Treatment About Casts. Common types of fractures include: Stable fracture. The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.
Open, compound fracture. The skin may be pierced by the bone or by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of the fracture. The bone may or may not be visible in the wound. Transverse fracture.
This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line. Oblique fracture. This type of fracture has an angled pattern. Comminuted fracture. In this type of fracture, the bone shatters into three or more pieces. The most common causes of fractures are: Trauma. A fall, a motor vehicle accident, or a tackle during a football game can all result in fractures. This disorder weakens bones and makes them more likely to break. Repetitive motion can tire muscles and place more force on bone.
This can result in stress fractures. Stress fractures are more common in athletes. Other common symptoms include: Swelling and tenderness around the injury Bruising Deformity — a limb may look "out of place" or a part of the bone may puncture through the skin To Top. Cast Immobilization A plaster or fiberglass cast is the most common type of fracture treatment, because most broken bones can heal successfully once they have been repositioned and a cast has been applied to keep the broken ends in proper position while they heal.
Functional Cast or Brace The cast or brace allows limited or "controlled" movement of nearby joints. Traction Traction is usually used to align a bone or bones by a gentle, steady pulling action.
External Fixation In this type of operation, metal pins or screws are placed into the broken bone above and below the fracture site. Last Reviewed October