One of the most common orthopedic problems is a broken leg. What is more, people all over the world experience fractures or a broken leg bone during their life at least two times.
In case you had such experience of a broken leg or fracture, then you know the pain that followed. The next thing that probably came across your mind was a question: “How long does it take for my leg to heal properly?” If you thought fractures are less serious, you should know they deserve as careful and good treatment to be healed as a broken leg bone.
Broken leg or fracture cause moving limitations and usually trigger much discomfort during the healing process. Bones heal themselves with time, but as this process might take a bit longer, we came up with 6 tips that will speed up healing and take you back to the normal life.
The usual process of bone healing
Healing a broken bone is definitely a complex process in which many players are involved. Some of the factors that affect broken leg bone healing are:
• Growth factors,
• Amino acids,
• Inflammatory cytokines,
• Uncounted nutrients.
The first stage of healing is the inflammation phase and includes blood clots forming right after the breakage, an influx of inflammatory, and cleaning up cells to the area that is affected. The cells affected by the cytokine cascade are repaired over the new few months.
However, the reparative stage starts in about 2 weeks after the fracture. In this phase, a soft callus hardens into a hard callus and this process takes from 6 to 12 weeks. The final phase is the remodeling phase when the callus is remodeled into a strong bone under the influence of osteoclast bone formation and bone resorption cells.
How can you know if your leg is broken? If you have any doubts about this matter, then check for these symptoms:
It takes from 8-12 weeks for a broken leg to heal. In case you had a surgery, it would take a bit less time, but you still wouldn’t be able to get right back to your everyday activities.
As you can see, healing a broken bone is a bit long process and it takes patience. However, if you can’t wait for the time to be active again and get back to normal life, there are some steps to undertake and heal faster.
6 Tips on How to Maximize Your Bone Capacity and Heal a Broken Leg Faster
In order to heal your broken leg, you should provide your body with adequate energy. Interestingly, you might need to increase your caloric intake up to 3 times!
However, this happens with the cases of multiple fractures, while fewer injuries require fewer calories. Still, it would be good to increase intake of protein as proteins further increase bone volume and synthesize a new structural healthy bone.
You might be surprised by the fact that even 10-20 grams of proteins a day affects your bones positively, not to talk about bigger quantities. People with low protein status are more prone to severe breakages and fractures and take more time to heal.
Take more vitamin C and E, as these two are famous as the best antioxidants and improve fractural healing. Why should you use these vitamins?
When you break your leg, an inflammation process occurs in your body. Vitamins C and E are great for reducing inflammation, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and bioflavonoids soothe the inflammation naturally.
Did you know your bones are 70% made of minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, silicon, phosphorus, etc? That is the reason why you should boost minerals intake on an everyday basis.
Concluding, you should increase intake of calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This is the first line leading you to heal your broken leg faster.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking affects bone healing by slowing it down. As we mentioned above, a blood clog forms around the wound. If you smoke, chances are great that the blood flow to the bone would be weighted.
It is important to understand that all the necessary nutrients are delivered to the bone and the cells, leading to faster healing. This means that clogged blood flows will take more time to deliver the nutrients, which further means – your leg will take more time to heal.
Your doctor will prescribe certain medicaments that will prevent pain and relax you a bit. However, be careful when using NSAIDs.
One of these is ibuprofen, which usually reduces pain, but in the case of a broken bone, it will only impede bone healing. That is why you should go for Tylenol, for example, as this drug is not proven to cause a delay of broken leg healing.
You can also use some herbal remedies in order to help your broken leg to heal faster. Alternative medicine worships herbs such as burdock leaf poultice, horsetail grass, arnica, and wild comfrey to help with a broken bone healing.
- Physical Activity
Yes, you read it right! Some types of leg fractions allow you to move a bit and help the healing. For example, thighbone fracture is definitely on the list, as this is a complex fracture that requires resting in bed for some time.
On the other side, you can do some light leg circles or squeeze and relax your fingers bit by bit. By adding some activity and by increasing intensity slowly your leg will gradually get used to getting back to active life.
In case you notice your leg is swollen or hurt, it is about time to make a pause. Consult your doctor about other eventual exercises that will do good to your leg.
A doctor will probably recommend doing therapeutic exercises or going to physical therapy. These exercises are a mix of stretching exercises and range motion exercises, which might be painful at the beginning but they will surely speed up healing.
- Use a Mobility Scooter
Now that we mentioned a physical activity, another great way to be active during your recovery phase is to get yourself a knee scooter. This mobility device does miracles when it comes to being more active during the healing process or injury recovery.
The knee scooter is designed to provide you mobility in the first place, but security, stability, and comfort in the second place. These are great news for people who are at the beginning of the healing phase and are a bit impatient.
This way, you can go out, see your friends, go shopping, and enjoy yourself in any other way, as you wouldn’t be stuck in bed. There are a couple of knee scooters on the market, so it would be great to pay attention to criteria such as:
- Weight capacity,
- Lose some weight
Obesity is one of the causes that delays broken leg healing. As your legs carry your whole body, breaking a leg might affect your weight negatively.
Not only that obesity will put you at a higher risk of having a fracture but it will be harder to heal afterward. In other words – obesity will contribute to fracture severity.
A broken ankle is one of the most common fractures with people who are obese. Now imagine having to put your whole weight on one leg only. This will make you instinctively rely on your broken leg also, triggering pain and swollenness.
Obese people also have thicker blood, which means nutrients will take a longer time to come to a fracture and do their work. It would be good to lose some weight in case you already have a fracture, as this will affect your whole body positively and lead you to heal much quicker.
Why Is It Important For a Broken Leg to Heal Properly?
The most secure indicator that your bone hasn’t healed properly is pain that appears at the side of the brake. This state is medically named nonunions.
In this case, you would want to see a doctor who will examine the fracture site. A process of re-healing might even take more than usual healing and last a couple of months.
We don’t say this is your fault, as some causes of improperly healed bone are diabetes, anemia, or infection. Still, if you don’t take enough time for your leg to heal, it is highly possible to cause the harm yourself.
Trying to heal a broken leg might be a frustrating experience. Waiting for the bone to heal itself will probably take months, which seems like an eternity when you are in your bed, watching TV all the time.
You will know if your bone is broken if you notice some of the symptoms we enumerated in the previous paragraphs. Don’t let this discourage you, as there is a solution for a broken leg. Fortunately, by following our steps you will ensure your broken leg to heal as quickly as possible.