A fracture, or a broken bone, is a condition that necessitates immediate medical attention. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body due to high-force impact, stress, or medical conditions that weaken the bones. 

Dr. Ulric Bigby, a prominent orthopedic surgeon, specializes in diagnosing and treating fractures, particularly those related to the hip and knee.

Understanding Fractures

A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone. It can occur due to various reasons, from high-impact traumas like car accidents and long falls to overuse, resulting in stress fractures. In older individuals or those with weakened bones due to medical conditions like osteoporosis, a fracture might occur with very little impact.

Symptoms of a Fracture

The symptoms of a fracture can vary depending on the location, severity, and the individual's age and general health. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, inability to move the affected area, and protrusion of the area at an unusual angle. In more severe cases, symptoms may include dizziness, fainting, and nausea.

Risk Factors for Fractures

Aging is a significant risk factor as bones become thinner and weaker over time, increasing the risk of fractures. Conditions like osteoporosis that weaken the bones also increase fracture risk. Women, particularly postmenopausal women, have a higher risk owing to diminished estrogen production, which plays a role in bone health.

Types of Fractures

Fractures can occur in various forms, including:

  • Stable or nondisplaced fracture: The bone pieces remain in contact or just a few millimeters away.
  • Displaced fracture: The bone pieces shift out of place due to a break in the bones.
  • Comminuted fracture: The bone shatters into three or more pieces.
  • Open fracture: The bone fragments stick out through the skin or a wound penetrates down to the bone, often damaging surrounding soft tissues.
  • Stress fracture: This is a hairline crack in the bone caused by overuse and repetitive motion.

All these types of fractures require immediate medical attention and proper treatment.

Diagnosing Fractures

Diagnosing a fracture involves a physical examination and a detailed inquiry about the circumstances that led to the injury. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans may also be necessary to assess the fracture fully.

Treating Fractures

The primary goal of fracture treatment is to ensure optimal future function by providing the injured bone with the best circumstances for healing. 

Dr. Ulric Bigby adopts a comprehensive approach to fracture management, considering your overall health, fracture type and location, and your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies.

Non-Surgical Treatment

In cases of stable fractures, immobilization for several weeks may be sufficient. A cast or splint may be applied to prevent movement and keep the bones in place while they heal.

Surgical Treatment

For fractures involving displacement or other complications like dislocations or open wounds, surgery may be necessary. The surgical procedure may involve realigning the knee and removing any unnecessary bone fragments or fully replacing the joint.

Hip and Knee Fractures

Dr. Bigby pays particular attention to hip and knee fractures. These fractures can occur due to direct falls, high-impact collisions, or from underlying conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis.

Hip Fractures

A hip fracture is a break in the femur (thigh bone), where it meets the pelvic bone. It's a significant injury that requires immediate medical attention. The majority of hip fractures happen to people over 60, where a simple fall is the most common cause.

Knee Fractures

A knee fracture involves damage to the patella (knee cap) bone at the front of the knee. It can range in severity from a mild hairline fracture to a completely shattered bone that damages surrounding tissues.

Rehabilitation and Recovery

Recovery from a fracture may take several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the fracture and if there are any complications, such as a blood supply problem or an infection. After the bone has healed, physical therapy may be necessary to restore muscle strength and mobility to the affected area.

Dr. Ulric Bigby and his team provide personalized treatment plans and rehabilitation programs to ensure patients regain mobility and return to their normal activities as quickly and safely as possible.

Preventing Fractures

Preventing a fracture is better than treating one. Here are a few tips you can follow to help prevent fractures, especially as you age:

  • Adopt a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium for healthier bones.
  • Engage in regular weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bones.
  • Undergo bone density testing if at higher risk for osteoporosis.
  • Avoid habits that can weaken bones like smoking and excessive drinking.
  • Take precautions to prevent falls, especially for older individuals, as they are more prone to fractures.

Fracture Treatment in Maryland

Fractures are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Dr. Ulric Bigby, with his extensive expertise in treating hip and knee fractures, ensures patients receive comprehensive care to achieve optimal recovery and improved quality of life. 

Dr. Ulric Bigby is a top-rated orthopedic surgeon who can treat your hip or knee fracture and provide comprehensive treatment options. 

Schedule your consultation online or get in touch with Dr. Bigby at one of his three locations:

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