Full recovery time for a fracture can be 20 days to 6 months or more, depending on the person's age and ability to recover. Generally, children recover from a fracture in less than 2 months and the elderly and it can take up to 1 year to fully recover, especially when it comes to a fracture of the femur, for example.
This time also varies according to the type of fracture because open or comminuted fractures take longer for complete healing, and the younger the person, the greater their ability to recover and bone remodeling. Prolonged immobilization in the elderly can worsen osteoporosis, however, it is essential to remain in a cast so that the bone can be consolidated.
Some tips that can help a person recover faster from a fracture are:
1. Avoid making efforts
It is important that the person avoids exerting too much effort using the fractured limb, as it is possible to promote bone healing and reduce immobilization and recovery time. Thus, it may be interesting for the person to rest the immobilized limb in a higher position, preventing swelling and accelerating recovery.
On the other hand, it is also not recommended that the person stays in absolute rest, because it can favor the loss of muscle mass at the site and stiffness of the joint, which can cause muscle hypotrophy and decrease density, favoring the occurrence of more fractures.
So, some things that can be done and that do not require effort is to keep moving your fingers several times a day when the arm, hand or leg are immobilized, and place the affected part in a basin with warm water and perform some exercises while still in the water can help, as the warm water will lessen the sensation of pain and the movements will be more easily performed.
2. Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin C
During the recovery period, it is interesting to increase the consumption of foods rich in calcium, as this mineral helps increase bone density and thus favor healing. Thus, it may be recommended to increase the consumption of milk and dairy products, avocado and broccoli, for example. Discover other foods rich in calcium.
In addition, consuming more foods that are sources of vitamin C also help to recover faster from a fracture because this vitamin, due to its properties, can act by promoting the regeneration of all tissues. Thus, it is also important to consume foods such as orange, lemon, acerola and pineapple, for example. See other options for foods rich in vitamin C.
It is also important that during recovery, the person avoids alcoholic beverages and reduces the amount of sugar consumed during the day, as this can directly interfere with bone healing and increase recovery time.
3. Increase Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an essential role in the body and also assists in the process of calcium absorption in the intestine and favors the entry of this mineral into the bones. Thus, it is important that vitamin D levels are increased during recovery for faster healing to take place.
In this way, to increase vitamin D levels in the body, it is recommended to stay at least 15 minutes a day exposed to the sun, in addition to increasing the consumption of foods rich in this vitamin, such as fish, egg yolks, seafood, milk and derivatives, for example.
Check out the video below for more tips on how to increase vitamin D levels:
4. Take collagen
In some cases, the nutritionist or orthopedist may recommend the use of collagen to promote healing and reduce recovery time. This supplement is mainly indicated when the fracture happens close to a joint or when it involves a joint, because collagen guarantees the faster formation of cartilage tissues, favoring healing.
Physiotherapy is indicated mainly after the period of immobilization, when the fracture was very severe and there was immobilization for a long time. Thus, physical therapy can help to fully regain muscle strength and joint mobility, helping the person to recover from the fracture more quickly.
The immobilized joint tends to become very rigid and to regain its movement it is advisable to carry out joint mobilization exercises and strengthening exercises are essential for the person to fully recover.
In relation to complete fracture recovery, it is important to consider the severity of the fracture and immobilization time. A person who has been in a cast for more than 30 days will rarely be able to perform all the movements that the joint allowed in less than 4 or 5 days. However, over time the movements may return to normal.