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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.
Often after fracture, the bone needs to be stabilized or immobilized to ensure proper healing. This is usually accomplished using a cast. For simple fractures, your doctor may elect to apply a removable cast so that gentle motion can occur around the injury site. After complex fractures or an ORIF procedure, you may be required to wear a cast that is not to be removed. If you fracture your shoulder or arm, you may be required to wear a sling to keep the arm immobilized. Check with your doctor to ensure that you understand what is expected of you in regard to immobilization.
After you fracture a bone, a physical therapist may visit you in the hospital. If you break your leg or ankle, a physical therapist may instruct you in how to walk with an assistive device, like a cane or crutches. This includes how to use the device to walk up and down stairs or to get into and out of a car. Be sure to ask questions if you have any. Remember, learning a new skill takes practice, so be sure to practice using your device while the physical therapist is with you. If you fracture your arm, you may be required to keep your arm in a sling to help with healing. In the hospital, your physical therapist may teach you how to apply and remove the sling.