Tuesday, August 31, 2021



Fractures are very common and we all know someone who has had a fracture some time in their life. Fractures are generally treated by putting a cast or in some cases with surgery. Bone healing is a long process and so any person with a fracture needs to be very patient.

Bone healing is only half of the problems faced due to a fracture. Cast or surgery for the fracture does not target any soft tissue or muscle that may have been damaged due to the fracture. Also, if your joints have been immobilized in a cast for several weeks they get really stiff and movements become difficult. Many patients complain of pain, stiffness, reduced joint movement, difficulty in certain activities even after the fractured bone has completely healed. In such cases people tend to avoid even simple activities like climbing stairs or walking on uneven roads. When even simple activities seem difficult; no need to imagine how much activities like dance, sport, and travel might be affected…

An important part of full and functional recovery from fracture is Physiotherapy. To make sure that you do not face above problems and regain full confidence after a fracture; a proper physiotherapy rehab is absolutely essential.

Physiotherapy is advised by most doctors when the fractured bone is aligned. Physiotherapy is generally started immediately after cast removal or after your fracture fixation surgery.

This is how physiotherapy helps at this stage-

Early physiotherapy is very beneficial as it restores all normal movements and reduces unnecessary fear of movement which may be present after fractures. Some fractures do not unite or heal properly if appropriate movement is not done; in such cases a person may land up with a deformity, which is almost impossible to correct later. If you have been operated to fix the fracture; re-training the muscle and helping bone healing depends entirely upon how well you move!  

Most people complete this part of physiotherapy rehabilitation; they get back to their normal routines and the fracture is almost completely forgotten!

Many patients notice that their old, well-treated fracture starts to create difficulties when they try a new activity or when they resume activities they were doing easily before. As physios, we see a lot of patients who feel that their joint pain or muscle pain is due to a fracture they had some years ago. We commonly hear statements like- ‘I haven’t been able to take my hand behind my back after I had a shoulder fracture’, ‘I get pain if I lift something heavy because my wrist fracture has not healed’, ‘I cannot walk fast because my leg was fractured’ and so on.

Such statements indicate that many people are unable to return to their previous level of activity even after proper bone healing has taken place.

A huge factor for this is inadequate physiotherapy. Patients most commonly stop physiotherapy after basic movements are restored and hence functional strengthening of the injured hand/leg takes a backseat.

But here’s some good news!! Such complaints can be reduced with physiotherapy at any stage! Physiotherapy may not correct your old deformity; but it will definitely help make painful activities easier. Strengthening of muscles required for these activities can be properly done with your physiotherapist’s guidance.

On the occasion of World Physiotherapy Day, we at Rehab Station are organizing a camp just for you! Get your old fractures re-assessed by the expert physiotherapists at Rehab Station and we will help you get back to your normal routines!

-Dr Shriya Joshi (PT)

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Rehab Station, Pune

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