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Fracture repair process

Lya Böger

The stages of fracture healing

Causes of Fractures

causes of fractures

Why do bones break?

  • Bones are very strong
  • Bone runs into stronger force (e.g. thrown forward in car crash), which leads to a traumatic fracture
  • Bone runs into repetitive force (e.g. running), which leads to a stress fracture
  • Bone diseases, which weaken your bones (e.g. osteoporosis) and leads to a spontaneous/pathologic fracture

the stages of bone healing

1. The inflammatory phase

  • Also called Hematoma Formation
  • Starts immediately after the fraction occurs
  • blood vessels that were torn by the fracture release blood (about 48 hours after injury)
  • blood clots and forms fracture Hematoma
  • Immune system gets active (kills germs and gets rid of small bone pieces)
  • stage ends approximately 1 week after injury


2. The repairing phase

  • Starts a few days after bone fracture
  • Lasts for about 2-3 weeks
  • Body develops cartilage and tissue in/around fracture site
  • Cartilage forms a soft collar at broken ends (replaces blood clot)
  • Cartilage parts eventually meet each other and form a callus (stabalize structure)
  • Osteoblasts from the periosteum invade hematoma
  • Trabecular bone (spongy bone) replaces tissue and forms a bony callus over the next weeks

Bone callus


3. The bone remodeling phase

  • Final phase in fracture repair process
  • Osteoblasts form new bone
  • Solid bone replaces the spongy bone

  • After completion, osteoclasts remove excessive bone tissue and restore bone shape


How long does a fracture take to heal?

  • Average healing time is 6 to 8 weeks
  • Time varies from person to person and depends on severity of injury and bone (some bones heal faster than others)
  • Doctors can support healing process (casts, screws & plates, rods, wires, nails)







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