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How to heal a broken bone

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Fracturing a bone is a very painful condition. It not just limits your movements, but also makes one dependent on others for simple tasks. The only thing one can do is to wait for the bone to heal and function normally again.

So how does a broken bone heal? After you break a bone, it undergoes three steps to get back in its original form.

The 3 stages are:

Inflammation stage

Also known as the reactive stage where a blood clot forms and a chain of reactions take place to initiate the repair process

Reparative stage

Begins after about 2 weeks fracture, wherein the basic structure or callus starts forming. The bone density also starts to increase.

Remodelling phase

The callus remodels itself to get back the original shape and size of the bone.

Once your doctor has performed the surgery or has aligned the bone, it will undergo quick healingprovided you meet the nutritional demand of the new bones.

Nutritional requirement to heal a broken bone

Healing of a fracture is a complex process. The cells and tissues undergo proliferation and differentiation. Many factors are involved in the healing process such as growth factors, antioxidants, bone-building cells, hormones, nutrients and amino acids.

As your bone starts healing its nutritional demand increased. The entire process of generation of new bones requires adequate supplies of minerals, vitamins and proteins. You have to ensure that you get the right amount of calories daily.

Let’s find out the basic nutritional requirements that accelerate healing of broken bones.

1. Increased calorie intake

Major breakage and fractures in bones require higher amount of calories (could be as high as 6000 Cal/day) to supply energy for the repair and regeneration process of broken bones. The calories should come from healthy, natural resources like whole grains foods, honey, meat, etc. Additionally, you can also consume health drinks that boost health of your bones. So, stick to the diet as planned by your doctor.

2. Minerals

Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc are most important minerals needed for healing a broken bone. For this you have to consume dairy foods like yogurt, leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale, broccoli, and protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, etc. Your doctor will also give you calcium supplements to enhance the density of your bones.

3. Vitamins

Vitamin K and vitamin D are vital for growth of new bones and promoting the repair process. Vitamin D also aids in absorption of calcium. To receive vitamin K you need to consume dark green vegetables and for vitamin D, drinking orange juice and milk is beneficial. Apart from this, your doctor might give you additional nutritional supplements to make up for your body’s demand.

4. Proteins and amino acids

Protein and amino acids are building blocks of cells. They are vital substances required for regeneration of new bones. Lysine also helps in absorption of calcium. So, increase the intake of lean meat, dairy, pulses and grains in your diet. You can also have fortified health drinks for this purpose.

5. Antioxidants

If you have undergone surgery or there’s a wound, then you are vulnerable to infections. The doctor may give you antibiotics to prevent any infection from affecting the bone’s healing process. You can eat foods rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids. Citrus fruits, vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and nuts are the best antioxidant rich food.

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Augmentation therapies for bone healing

Your doctor might consider conducting augmentation therapies in case the bone does not heal as expected. Electrical stimulation, incorporation of magnets and ultrasound therapy might be used to promote the healing process.

You can also ask your doctor, if you can massage your bone with essential oils such as Helichrysum, Cyprus, and fir. These essential oils are beneficial, as they are known to promote bone healing.

Things that hinder healing of broken bone include:  

  • Alcohol and smoking would hinder the process of healing of bone fractures
  • Consuming too much sugar and simple carbohydrate can lead to bone loss
  • Eating salty foods or too much salt in diet can interfere with absorption of calcium

Speak to your doctor related to tips on how to heal a broken bone related to your case. You need to take extreme care and not carry out vigorous activities that will affect your bone health. Rest and allow your body to heal gradually.

Wrritten by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: February 15, 2015