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Fracture Rehabilitation

Fracture rehab is a comprehensive and individualized rehabilitation program that aims to assist patients in recovering from a bone fracture.


Common types of fracture

  • Closed fracture: A closed fracture, also known as a simple fracture, occurs when the bone breaks but does not pierce the skin.
  • Open fracture: An open fracture, also known as a compound fracture, occurs when the bone breaks and pierces through the skin, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Hairline fracture: A hairline fracture, also known as a stress fracture, is a small crack in the bone that often results from repetitive stress or overuse.
  • Comminuted fracture: A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone breaks into several pieces.
  • Transverse fracture: A transverse fracture occurs when the bone breaks horizontally.
  • Oblique fracture: An oblique fracture occurs when the bone breaks at an angle.
  • Spiral fracture: A spiral fracture occurs when the bone breaks in a twisting or spiraling pattern.
  • Greenstick fracture: A greenstick fracture occurs most commonly in children when the bone bends and cracks but does not break completely.
  • Avulsion fracture: An avulsion fracture occurs when a small piece of bone breaks off due to a ligament or tendon pulling away from the bone.
  • Pathologic fracture: A pathologic fracture occurs when a weakened or diseased bone breaks as a result of normal activities.
  • Impacted fracture: An impacted fracture occurs when the bone is compressed or pushed together, often resulting in a shorter bone than before the fracture.
  • Depressed fracture: A depressed fracture occurs when a broken piece of bone is pushed inward, often causing damage to surrounding tissues or organs.
  • Colles’ fracture: A Colles’ fracture is a type of wrist fracture that occurs when the radius bone in the forearm breaks near the wrist joint.
  • Pott’s fracture: A Pott’s fracture is a type of ankle fracture that occurs when the fibula bone in the lower leg breaks and the ankle joint is also injured.
  • Boxer’s fracture: A Boxer’s fracture is a type of hand fracture that occurs when the fifth metacarpal bone, which connects the hand to the pinky finger, is broken.
  • Jones fracture: A Jones fracture is a type of foot fracture that occurs at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone, located on the outer edge of the foot.
  • Hangman’s fracture: A Hangman’s fracture is a type of cervical spine fracture that occurs when the vertebrae in the neck are broken, often due to a high-impact injury such as a car accident or fall.


Contributing factors to fracture

  • Trauma: Fractures are often caused by trauma, such as falls, car accidents, or sports injuries.
  • Repetitive stress: Certain activities that place repetitive stress on bones, such as running or jumping, can cause stress fractures.
  • Osteoporosis: A condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to fractures.
  • Cancer: Some types of cancer, particularly those that have spread to the bones, can weaken the bone structure and increase the risk of fractures.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: A lack of calcium, vitamin D, or other essential nutrients can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures.
  • Aging: As we age, our bones become weaker and more fragile, increasing the risk of fractures.
  • Genetic disorders: Certain genetic disorders, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, can cause bones to be abnormally weak and prone to fractures.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as long-term steroid use, can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures.
  • Infections: Infections in the bone can weaken its structure and increase the risk of fractures.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or hyperparathyroidism, can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures.
  • Smoking: Smoking can weaken bones and decrease bone density, making them more susceptible to fractures.
  • Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures, particularly in older adults.
  • Physical activity level: People who engage in regular physical activity have stronger bones and a lower risk of fractures than those who are sedentary.
  • Body weight: Being underweight can increase the risk of fractures, as bones may be weaker due to a lack of necessary nutrients.
  • Fall risk factors: Certain factors, such as poor balance, vision problems, or unsafe living environments, can increase the risk of falls and subsequent fractures.
  • Work environment: Certain occupations, such as construction or roofing, may expose workers to a higher risk of falls and fractures.
  • Bone structure and health history: Certain bone conditions, such as a history of fractures or family history of osteoporosis, can increase the risk of future fractures.

What we can do

What physiotherapy can do

Fracture rehab typically involves a combination of exercises, manual therapy, and other treatments that are tailored to the individual patient’s needs. The specific types of exercises and treatments used in fracture rehab will depend on the location and severity of the fracture, as well as the patient’s age, overall health, and lifestyle.

Some common treatments and techniques used in fracture rehab may include:

  • Range-of-motion exercises: These exercises help to maintain or improve joint mobility and flexibility after a fracture.
  • Strengthening exercises: These exercises help to improve muscle strength and function, which can be lost during a period of immobilization.
  • Manual therapy: This may include massage, mobilization, or manipulation techniques to help improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and facilitate healing.
  • Electrical stimulation: This technique uses electrical impulses to help stimulate muscle contractions and promote healing.
  • Ultrasound therapy: This technique uses high-frequency sound waves to help reduce pain and inflammation and promote tissue healing.
  • Assistive devices: Patients may need to use assistive devices such as crutches, walkers, or braces during the recovery period to help support the affected limb and prevent further injury.
  • Gait training: After a fracture, patients may need to learn to walk or use assistive devices, such as crutches or walkers. Physiotherapists can provide gait training to help patients regain their balance, coordination, and confidence.
  • Education: Physiotherapists can provide education on proper body mechanics, posture, and lifting techniques to help prevent future fractures and promote overall bone health.
  • Home exercise program: To ensure that patients continue to make progress after they are discharged from physiotherapy, physiotherapists can develop a home exercise program that includes exercises and activities that patients can do on their own.


Overall, fracture rehab is an important part of the recovery process for patients who have suffered a bone fracture. By working with a physiotherapist or other healthcare professional, patients can develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs and goals, which can help them recover more quickly and effectively from their injury.

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