Fractures are common among athletes, children and even the elderly, however anyone can become a suffer from a fracture. Many people think a fracture is not a serious condition, however a fracture is a broken bone and as such it requires emergency attention. An x-ray is usually taken to determine if there is a fracture, since some people may be able to continue walking unaware that they have a fracture. In a stress fracture, a bone scan may have to conducted as it may be difficult to pick up with an x-ray. Post fracture rehabilitation may involve surgery but in some cases non-surgical intervention may be all that is needed.
Stress fractures can occur in people who are poorly conditioned or in professional athletes who over-train. A mild stress fracture can be healed with rest and time – usually 4 to 8 weeks. The limb may be put in a brace or cast to allow it to rest and promote healing. Crutches may be needed to help the person to move around. Ice is used to decrease pain and inflammation and anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken to relieve pain. In some cases a bone stimulator may be used to promote healing of the bone. In severe cases surgery may have to performed. Rehabilitation will involve stretching and strengthening exercises once the acute stage is past.
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