Anytime you experience a fracture of any kind, whether you completely lose the function of a limb, hear a sickening crack, or land in such a way that makes you think that you have broken a bone, it is quite the unnerving experience! Our board-certified doctors will take swift and sound action to help heal your fracture efficiently and thoroughly at Minit Medical Urgent Care.
Which technique is used in the treatment of fracture?
The techniques that your doctor will use for the treatment of a fracture or broken bone depends on a few different factors, such as the location of the injury, how severely the bone is broken or fractures, and if there are multiple fractures or major arteries near the fracture. As such, treatment options could include any of the following:
- Casting: Also known as immobilization, a cast or splint made from fiberglass or plaster is applied to the area of the fracture to keep the bone from moving as it heals itself. Casting is used for fractures that involve displacement, shortening, or angulation of the bone.
- Medication: Over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication may be used to control and relieve pain, depending on how severe the pain is.
- Traction: When casting is not an option, traction therapy is typically the Plan B option. Traction therapy works by gently pulling on the fractured bone to put it back into its proper position using weights, pulleys, and ropes. This method is often used for badly broken legs in the early stages of treatment to keep the bone in the correct position.
- Physical therapy: Once the fracture has healed, range-of-motion and strengthening exercises can help strengthen the muscles and improve the movement of the joints around the bone.
- Rehabilitation: As your fracture heals, rehabilitation programs involve a gradual increase in exercises and activity until the bone has completely healed.
- Surgery: For more severe fractures, surgery may be required. Below are the two main surgical options:
- Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF): An incision is made above the fracture site, and the pieces of the broken bone are put back together using plates, rods, screws, or sutures to hold it in place as it heals.
- External fixation: The broken bones are held in place through rods that are screwed into the bone and attached to a stabilizing structure external to the body.
When you come to Minit Medical Urgent Care for fracture treatment, one of our board-certified physicians will examine and assess the fracture severity to determine which treatment route is required. If surgery is needed, we will likely refer you to a specialist for immediate treatment.
What do doctors prescribe for broken bones?
Depending on how painful the broken bone is and the resources available to the clinic, your doctor may prescribe any of the following medications to relieve pain:
- Acetaminophen and codeine (Tylenol #3)
- Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicoden ES)
- Over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)
- Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet)
Before your physician prescribes any stronger medication than OTC, they will review your medical history, including any drug allergies and medication you are currently taking, to avoid any harmful reactions to the prescribed medicine.
What type of fractures need surgery?
Generally, surgery is only required for the most severe of fractures. The following is a list of fractures that often require surgery:
- Compound fractures
- Femur fractures
- Fractures with bone deficits, infections, burns, or soft tissue injuries
- Hip fractures
- Open fractures with soft-tissue involvement
- Shoulder fractures
- Unstable fractures
If you have sustained a fracture, you can receive expert and compassionate medical attention at Minit Medical Urgent Care! Walk-in to one of our three locations in Kahului, Kahei, or Lahaina, Hawaii, for an on-the-spot appointment! All of our clinics are open seven days a week to serve you best.