Did you know that you should see a physiotherapist after you fracture or break any of your bones?
Most broken bones will heal in usually six weeks. But that is only the first half of the problem after a fracture. When you have enough stress placed through your body to fracture a bone, chances are other soft tissues and nerves have been damaged in the process. In addition, because your fracture site needs to be immobilized during the initial phase of healing, you will have significant joint stiffness and muscle weakness. This may even effect joints that don’t seem related to the break. For example, a fractured shoulder may result in a very stiff elbow or wrist just because you were keeping your shoulder in a sling for a few weeks.
When should I start physiotherapy after a fracture?
This varies depending on the type and location of fracture. If you are consulting an Orthopaedic Surgeon, please be guided by their expertise. Otherwise, you may wish to raise the topic with your GP. Typically, your physiotherapist will attempt to prevent post-fracture stiffness and weakness in the adjacent joints and muscles during the first six weeks while your fracture is healing. After six weeks or later if X-rays show poor healing, your physiotherapist can work on regaining full joint range of motion and muscle strength that operate near or over the fracture site.