The human body is composed of 206 bones. Each bone is made of strong
collagenous material that can withstand various forms of pressure and bear certain amount of weight. But in extreme stress or force, the bones can snap and get broken.
Fractures are not uncommon. In fact, it is among the common reasons why people are brought to the emergency department. And like most other parts of the body, a broken bone repairs itself. Understanding how this happens will give you an appreciation why immobilizing the broken bone quickly is essential in ensuring a quick and uneventful recovery.
There are many different causes that can lead to a bone fracture. It can be due to a sudden impact or trauma, overuse of a bone, a disease process, and other conditions that affect the integrity of the bones. Regardless of the cause of a fracture, the bone will proceed to its normal healing process.
The first effect after an injury to the bone is the swelling of the soft tissue. As in any wound, blood rushes towards the affected site and forms a blood clot in the area. Both of these processes are due to the destruction of blood vessels surrounding the bone and to the loss of blood from the nearby damaged vessels. Cessation or interruption in the blood supply lead to tissue death at the affected site. Cells that are far from the fracture site remain intact. In a matter of hours, these cells start to divide rapidly to form a mass of new tissue. This tissue growth forms into a collar of tissue that completely encloses the affected site. New bone growth starts from this mass and eventually heals the damaged bone.
Depending on a number of factors, such as the bone involved, the type of fracture, and the health and age of the person, the healing process may take up to weeks or months. If the broken bone is not handled properly during the first few hours, more soft tissues may be damaged. This also means longer time for the formation of a tissue mass and for the growth of new bone. However, if the bone ends are damaged during the healing process, proper healing may be delayed or will not take place. Without proper treatment, this can lead to permanent disability.
The application of proper first aid in case of an accident is essential in the quick healing of the bones. Immobilizing the injured bone helps prevent undue damage to surrounding tissues. Moreover, proper bone alignment enhances tissue growth. Taking a basic first aid course can equip you with necessary skills needed to handle cases of fracture properly. These courses are offered by the workplace approved and other accredited training providers. To learn more about these trainings, contact your local workplace approved chapter now.