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How Long Do You Need Physiotherapy Post Fracture?

Written and reviewed by
Wellness Diploma, MBA (Healthcare), BPTh/BPT, Post Graduate Specialization In Preventive Health Care
Physiotherapist, Delhi  •  12 years experience
How Long Do You Need Physiotherapy Post Fracture?

Fractures constitute one of the most challenging aspects of healthcare sector - clocking the most number of lost work hours after lifestyle diseases. These injuries though appearing innocuous in nature because of their initial mild swellings and pain can bring untold sufferings in the long run, if left unchecked. Since fractures are concealed from the naked eye, and the extent of damage is never revealed during the first few days; the damage done if left untreated may cost the victim quite a fortune when measured in monetary terms.

  1. Physiotherapy is often the treatment of choice for secondary complications which pop up, followed by implementation of procedures for healing. Healing of bones requires a long period of immobilization of limbs or the affected region such that the bones of the affected region do not experience any stress which may impair the healing process.
  2. The duration during which the limb is kept immobilized, there is a gradual buildup of calcium layers around the joints, which result in stiffness and joint pains, associated with loss of muscular strength. Generally, the duration of immobilization may range from somewhere between two to three weeks based on the extent and nature of the fracture. During the 3rd or the 4th week, physicians generally recommend commencing of physical therapy sessions to overcome limb stiffness, increase blood flow to the affected area, as well as improve the flexibility of nearby joints.
  3. Physiotherapy sessions once commenced, would greatly improve the particular functions, albeit slowly. This is an area of treatment where progress is rather slow, and which is monitored closely by physicians and physiotherapists alike. Though the affected bones are allowed to move gently and subjected to a gradual increase in stress, an estimated duration of four to six weeks is generally recommended for the bones to strengthen as well as for the limbs to function in a perfect manner.
  4. Though physiotherapy is highly sought after following a fracture, only experts should be allowed to decide when to begin the sessions. If such sessions begin too early in the healing period, secondary damage may occur. Physical therapy is continued till the body displays optimum mobility and the subsequent response to such treatment.

Physiotherapy can be regarded as a supplementary course of treatment, which is essential as a ‘force multiplier’ of the treatment regime. Overall, the victim’s physiology the type of fracture and treatment regimen followed plays a more decisive role in deciding the duration of physical therapy.

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