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Recovering from broken bones: The stages to know

When you suffered an injury, you knew immediately that a bone was broken. It stung sharply like a bee string and the area became swollen and discolored in just a few minutes. Millions of fractures take place every year all around the world. While most recover without complications, they still cause trouble for those suffering from them at least for a little while.

When bones break, they take time to heal. Depending on the part of the body that has broken, you may be unable to walk or type for several weeks. Some broken bones, like those near the spine, could put pressure on your nerves and cause additional pain. Severely broken bones, called compound fractures, can break through the skin and be life threatening in some cases.

How long does it take for bones to heal?

Bones generally heal to a point where they can be used and bear weight again within 12 weeks. However, that doesn't mean the bone is done healing. It can actually take up to nine years for a bone to remodel itself completely. In the meantime, it first forms a blood clot to kill germs and clear bone fragments. It then makes a soft callus that bonds the bone together before forming a hard callus to hold the bone together. Bone remodeling eventually removes the extra callusing and returns the bone to the original state, but it takes several years.

What do you need to know about broken bones?

If you have a broken bone, you shouldn't try to use that part of your body until a medical provider tells you it's okay. If you place pressure on the bone too soon, you could break it again and lengthen your recovery time. If you are missing work or unable to do the things you enjoy during this time, keep documentation about it. That will later help you file a claim to recover your expenses.

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