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Broken Bones: Casts, Splints and Other Treatments

Broken bones are caused by a traumatic impact more than the bone can handle. All different kinds of incidents can cause bone breaks, and they’re more common than you might think. Whether you get hurt on the job, are involved in a car accident, or suffer from an injury while playing sports, bone fractures are critical to diagnose and address to decrease the potential of permanent damage.

Sometimes it can be challenging to determine if you’ve broken a bone because not all fractures lead to pain—usually the first sign people experience that lets them know something is wrong. But depending on the area of the broken bone and the type of fracture, symptoms can vary. If you experience pain, an inability to move or apply weight, swelling, inflammation, bleeding, bruising or deformity, it is critical to seek immediate medical care.

By visiting a doctor, not only will they help pinpoint the kind of fracture you have, but they will also be able to establish the right treatment option for you. Here are some of the most common treatment options for broken bones:

Immobilization
When you break a bone, the most common form of treatment is immobilizing the part of the body where the injury is located. This reduces the chances of causing more damage by allowing it to adequately heal.

There are different ways in which doctors will immobilize the body. These can include casts, splints, braces or slings. Usually made from plaster or fiberglass, they wrap around the injury and prevent it from sustaining further damage as it heals.

Depending on the type of fracture you’ve sustained, the immobilization treatment method can last for several weeks or even a few months. In some cases, if there is no improvement of the broken bone, further treatment may be necessary, such as surgery.

Traction
While traction is a less common form of a broken bone treatment, there are such cases in which it’s necessary. The traction technique gently pulls the injured area of the body to help align the bones back into place. There are different types of the traction method, which depends on the location and severity of the fracture and what kind of force is needed to help realign and heal the bone.

Traction includes skeletal, skin or cervical to address specific areas of the body such as the femur, pelvis, hip, upper arms, muscles, tendons, neck and more. By helping stabilize broken bones, a traction can help reduce pain, lessen muscle spasms, treat bone deformities and ultimately treat broken bones in the early stages of healing.

Pins, Screws or Rods
Typically, when pins, screws or rods are needed to help support and aid in the healing process of broken bones, surgery is required. Open reduction and external or internal fixations apply support to the bone with metals to help hold the structure of the bone in place.

An external fixation operation uses pins or screws to connect the bone to a metal bar located externally of the extremity. This helps secure the bone in a proper position and stabilize it long-term while it heals. Generally, this type of procedure is applied to the femur or thighbone.

An open reduction or internal fixation places pins, screws or rods internally to reposition the bone and realign it. The fracture can also be held together by metal plates screwed to the outer surface of the bone. Rods are typically placed between the marrow space in the center of the bone to give it structure.

Dealing with a fracture isn’t the best experience, but it’s essential to know that those in the medical care field are ready to treat your injury and help you fully recover. While some broken bones require surgery and a trip to the emergency room, many different types of fractures can be treated at an urgent care center—not many people know that.

Urgent care centers are designed to solve problems without the hefty price tag of an ER, which means that if you or someone you know ever experiences a fracture, consider visiting an urgent care to see if they can help you. These non-emergent facilities provide casts, splints, braces or slings for less severe bone breaks, which means you’re not only receiving treatment quickly, but you’re also getting quality care promptly—an essential component to adequately healing fractures.

If you feel your condition is a true emergency, call 911.

If you’re experiencing signs or symptoms of a broken bone, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention immediately and visit Bayfront Health ER & Urgent Care. Our approach makes care more affordable by avoiding the higher cost of the emergency room when patients require only urgent care services. We practice a straightforward premise: deliver quality care with extraordinary customer experience, while billing for the appropriate level of care. Our teams are empowered to make decisions as if they were caring for a family member. Your care, time, and loyalty are our top priorities.

As one of the only health systems in the Cape Coral area offering emergency and urgent care services under one roof, Bayfront Health ER & Urgent Care makes it a priority to provide transparent, affordable pricing and quality care. We only bill based on the level of care you receive, and there are no appointments needed for in-person visits. Services include an emergency room, which is open 24 hours a day, every day, and an urgent care open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily for all of your non-emergent needs.

Sources:
· https://www.verywellhealth.com/treatment-of-broken-bones-2549211
· https://www.verywellhealth.com/traction-fracture-and-broken-bone-treatment-2548529
· https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/fractures-broken-bones/
· https://www.healthline.com/health/orif-surgery#procedure