Physio After Fracture

A common misunderstanding with breaking a bone is that once the bone has healed and the cast has come off, everything is back to normal and you can return to 100% of your activities with relative ease. This is unfortunately, not often the case, as when a bone is broken and immobilized in a cast, several changes occur to the bone itself as well as the structures around it. 

These changes include:

  • Muscle weakness; the muscles surrounding the bone and in the affected limb become weakened due to a lack of use whilst the bone has been immobilized. 
  • Bone weakness; much like a muscle, the bone structure becomes weak due to lack of use, so even though the bone may have healed whilst in the cast, the overall structure is often weakened. 
  • Joint stiffness; the cast stops the joint from moving to ensure the bone heals quickly, but the downside is that the joints and muscles become stiff and stop the joint from moving.

Although these changes can be problematic if not addressed, they are easily managed with physiotherapy. 

Physiotherapy usually commences once the cast has been removed and involves manual therapy and range of motion exercises to regain full movement of the affected joints, as well as strengthening exercises to rebuild the strength of the muscles and bones to help prevent reinjury.

Your doctor will advise you on whether your injury will require physiotherapy treatment, but often, physiotherapy is required to get your body back to its brilliant best.

If you have any questions or concerns following a fracture don’t hesitate to ask your physiotherapist!


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