The Importance of Physical Therapy After a Fracture

A broken bone isn’t something that anyone wants to deal with, because it can quickly put your life on hold. When it happens, your treatment could involve splinting or a cast, or surgery in severe cases, along with physical therapy. 

At Mehling Orthopedics, our goal is to get your broken bone on the path to healing and you back to your normal activities as soon as possible. Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit are our two esteemed orthopedic surgeons who are experts in fracture care. They talk with you about all aspects of your aftercare, including physical therapy.

What causes a fracture?

Broken bones, also called fractures, are usually caused by trauma, such as a car accident or a fall. These traumas put intense pressure on the bone, causing it to fracture. These aren’t the only causes of fractures though.

Other causes of fractures include:

The symptoms you’ll experience with a fracture can range from mild to severe, depending on the location of the fracture. 

Symptoms may include:

If you suspect that you’ve suffered a broken bone, the only definitive way to diagnose it is with an X-ray. This imaging test allows our doctors to see if your bone is broken, and what type of fracture you have.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) is a conservative treatment that’s used not only for fractures, but also for other orthopedic injuries and for postsurgical rehabilitation. The goal of PT is to help decrease your pain while also improving your mobility and flexibility.

PT isn’t reserved solely for injury treatment though. It can also be used as a preventive measure to help you avoid getting hurt and live an overall better life. 

Physical therapists help to restore more than your mobility. They can also help you:

The main goal of this treatment is to get you back to your normal mobility, strength, and flexibility. So how can this help you after a fracture? 

How physical therapy can help a fracture

After a fracture, your broken bone needs to be immobilized in order for it to heal. Due to the immobilization, the area of the fracture may lose some mobility, making it hard to get back to your activities. 

The physical therapist's job is to identify the issues causing the problem, and find a way to make it better with a range of techniques like:

They can also help with scars related to surgical fixation of your fracture, which can reduce pain and swelling. Once your fracture begins to heal, the physical therapist works with you on progressive strengthening of the injured area. This not only restores your mobility, but also helps to prevent further injury in the future.

Another role of the physical therapist after a fracture is to teach you how to use assistive devices. This could include using crutches with a broken leg or fitting you for a sling if you’ve suffered an arm fracture. 

PT for a fracture is necessary not only because it helps you to recover faster, but also because they can help you deal with any damage to the nerves or joints caused by your broken bone. This allows you to regain full range of motion after therapy is completed.

If you’ve suffered a fracture and are in need of treatment and physical therapy to get back on your feet, call our office in West Islip, New York, to make an appointment with Dr. Mehling.

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