About six million people will suffer a bone fracture each year. While most of these bone fractures will heal on their own, about 300,000 cases will not heal without help. For many of these cases, surgical repair of fractures is necessary.
The orthopedic surgeons at La Peer are experts in fracture surgery. If you have suffered a broken bone that will require surgery, feel free to contact our Department of Orthopedic Surgery for a consultation. Even if your own doctor already referred you to an orthopedic surgeon, it doesn’t hurt to have a second opinion or, perhaps more importantly, have a more experienced doctor perform your surgery. Call 855.360.9119 today to schedule an appointment.
FRACTURE VS. BROKEN BONE
There is sometimes confusion over the terms “fracture” and “broken bone”. For the record, fractures and broken bones are the same thing. Just as the terms “humerus” and “upper arm bone” indicate the same bone, one term is a medical term (fracture) and one is a layman’s term (broken bone). In summation, broken bones and fractures are the same thing.
COMMON TYPES OF FRACTURES
With over 200 bones in the human body, each can be broken in some way. However, some broken bones are more likely to require surgery than others. Here is a brief list of some common bone fractures that might require surgery to repair:
- Ankle fracture*
- Collarbone fracture
- Femur fracture (thigh bone)
- Foot fracture*
- Hip fracture
- Humerus bone fracture (upper arm)
- Knee fracture
- Pelvic fracture
- Shoulder fracture
- Tibia fracture (lower leg)
- Wrist fracture
*Ankle and foot fractures are treated by Podiatrists and Orthopedists at La Peer Surgery Center. To learn more about ankle fracture treatment, please visit the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence website.
HOW DO BROKEN BONES HEAL?
When you break a bone, blood vessels also damaged or broken. This causes bleeding around the injury. Your body will send signals to neighboring tissue cells to grow small blood vessels and, within days, many vessels are re-grown in the area near the broken bone. Over time, cells begin to form connective tissues (cartilage, bone, and fibrous tissue) and the bone heals.
This process happens for the majority of bone breaks that do not require surgery. However, for the bone fracture cases that require surgical intervention, that process might be delayed or not even occur at all.
BONE FRACTURE SURGERY
Modern medicine has revolutionized orthopedic surgery. Thanks to the development of materials that are strong and well tolerated by our bodies, our orthopedists can now more successfully restore damaged bones to their original shape and strength. Our surgeons are also performing clinical trials and research so that we can improve patient care in the future while providing advanced medical treatments in the present.
At La Peer, surgery is performed only after more conservative treatments have proven to be ineffective or are likely to fail. Other reasons our orthopedic surgeons might opt for surgery sooner would be if complications of non-surgical treatment is likely to fail. For example, hip fractures, if left to heal without surgery, often do not heal, or heal in an unsatisfactory position. Also, while patients wait for healing, they often get pneumonia or bed sores, as they are unable to walk. As a result, hip fracture surgery is offered routinely.
With bone fractures, the risk of infection is very much a concern. Bone tissue cannot receive ample immune cells to fight infection, and this leaves open bone fractures (also known as compound fractures) extremely vulnerable to infection.
Bone grafting is sometimes used to treat and repair a break, but broken bones can also be reinforced with metal. These screws, pins, and plate implants must be made and implanted carefully as complications can arise when plates or screws have to carry too much on the bone’s load. Even the strongest metals will break over time if the fracture does not heal. This is called ‘fatigue fracture’. Metal products made of titanium or steel, and their alloys are designed to delay this complication. Metal screws and metal plates of different metals should not be in contact with each other, as this can lead to bone damage.
CONTACT A BEVERLY HILLS ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON
With nine of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country, La Peer boasts an incredibly talented Department of Orthopedics. Our surgeons were educated at some of the world’s finest higher learning institutes, such as Harvard, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, USC, UCLA, and Berkeley.
Don’t trust your surgery to anyone but the best. Contact a Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon at La Peer today!
Next, read about Hip Arthroscopy.