The Biggest Fracture Healing Myth

Doctor explaining x-rayThe long-running Discovery Channel hit show MythBusters ended this past spring after 13 years of either confirming or “busting” various popular (and some obscure) myths. Fans loved watching Jamie, Adam, and the team design and perform scientifically-based experiments to test whether or not the myths would hold up. Those who are interested in seeing which myths were disproved, and which ones passed the test, can still check out the results on the Discovery Channel’s website.

The MythBusters crew tackled many subjects, but we don’t remember them testing any fracture healing myths, so we are going to tackle this subject for you!

When it comes to myths on fracture healing, the most important one we need to dispel is that “there is nothing to do” about a bone fracture. Unfortunately, this is something we hear often, especially from new patients being told this by friends or family. We are sure those people have the best of intentions, but this myth can lead to a bigger problem.

To start with, whenever you sustain a broken bone (in your lower extremities, or otherwise), it needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. Sure, the broken bone will mend in time…but you want it to heal correctly! If the broken ends are not lined up in the right manner, this will not happen. Additionally, not all fractures are as simple as a break into two pieces. In comminuted fractures, there can be several pieces of bone and surgery will be required.

Only medical professionals, like those on our staff, can use the right diagnostic tools to determine the nature and extent of the fracture. Once the condition has been properly evaluated, we will create a treatment plan. If the break is not a simple fracture (where the pieces are lined up correctly), we will likely need to use surgery to put everything in place. Even if you have sustained a simple fracture, the bone needs to be protected.

We can provide the proper measures to protect your healing bone, including the use of compression, splinting, and/or bandaging. It is important that you do not try to “buddy-tape” a broken toe on your own! Doing so incorrectly can lead to bigger problems.

When you sustain a break in your foot or ankle, come see us here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists so we can properly evaluate the nature of your injury and provide the treatment you need so it heals correctly! Contact us for more information by calling (512) 328-8900 or request your appointment online today.

Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatric Physician, Surgeon, Specialist at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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