Broken bones are painful injuries that require expert treatment to restore function and prevent chronic pain. If you need exceptional fracture care, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Renee Smith, MD, of Regenerative Orthopedics Institute in San Luis Obispo, California, can help. Dr. Smith has considerable experience in treating fractures so you recover quickly and with minimal discomfort. Find out more by calling Regenerative Orthopedics Institute today or booking an appointment online.
Fracture care is the treatment and rehabilitation of a broken bone.
Your bones — of which you have more than 200 — create your skeleton; the solid framework for your body. Your bones are strong and have a limited ability to flex, but sufficient force can crack, snap, or shatter them.
The strength and flexibility of your bones decrease with age, particularly if you develop osteoporosis. This condition results from a loss of density in your bones, which means they become brittle and can break quite easily.
Fractures range from simple, stable fractures, where the ends of your bones stay in alignment, to comminuted fractures, where the bone can shatter into multiple pieces. Other types of breaks that require fracture care include:
Compound fractures are among the most serious breaks, as they expose your broken bones. They require prompt and expert fracture care, as they're not only painful but also vulnerable to infection.
Vertebral compression fractures are most often a consequence of osteoporosis. The vertebrae in your spine collapse on the inside as they lose strength, causing pain and a hunched upper back.
You might also develop stress fractures, typically through overuse. These fractures are tiny hairline cracks that multiply until they cause chronic pain.
The fracture care you need depends on the type of fracture, which bone you injure, and the severity of the damage. Your age and any health considerations also play a part in Dr. Smith's choice of treatment.
If you have a stable fracture where the bones aren't out of position, wearing a cast or brace while natural healing takes place could be all the fracture care you need. If the bones are out of line, Dr. Smith needs to get them back in position by setting your fracture.
Closed reduction involves Dr. Smith realigning the broken bones by manipulating them back into place. If this isn't possible, she might need to perform an open reduction, which means surgery.
Fracture surgery repairs might require the use of screws, pins, and plates to fix the broken bones. Surgery could involve internal fixation, where Dr. Smith fits the metalwork inside your body, or external fixation, where you have a supportive structure that extends outside your body.
If you have a fracture in a joint that's too severe to repair, you might need to undergo joint replacement surgery.
To find out more about fracture care and benefit from Dr. Smith's expertise, call Regenerative Orthopedics Institute today or book an appointment online.