Fracturing a bone isn't fun for anyone who has to endure an injury. It takes weeks, if not months, to heal causing the victim to miss out on many of life's daily routines or entertainment. Many factors contribute to whether or a bone heals, relieving pain for the victim.
Age and nutrition
The younger a person is, the quicker a bone will heal when fractured. As a person ages, it becomes more difficult for bones to recover from physical trauma. Good nutrition in a diet is crucial in aiding the body to heal from things such as broken bones. Someone with a poor diet is more likely to take longer to heal because they don't have extra nutrients to devote to the healing process.
Diseases such as osteoporosis and diabetes or those compromising the immune system delay the body's ability to heal itself. At the site of a fracture, new cells are produced to heal the injury. If the immune system is lower because it's busy fighting diseases within the body, there may not be enough energy to devote to healing the fracture, resulting in delayed healing.
Types of bones
Some bones heal quicker than others. Cancellous bones are the spongy portion of the bone. When a break occurs in this region, such as at the head of the femur, it heals more quickly than if it's a cortical, or compact bone. Compact bones are denser, requiring more energy for healing. Therefore, they require more time to heal than cancellous.
How well a fractured bone was immobilized will determine the length at which it heals. If a broken arm is not secured in a cast, or a leg is being walked on against a doctor's orders, it will delay the healing process. Following a physician's orders is important to a speedy recovery.
Injury within the bone
When a bone fractures, important tissues and blood vessels can be injured. The more damage endured inside the bone, the longer it will take to recover from the injury. Occasionally, if the damage is extreme, surgery is called for to repair the injury.
Fractures that affect the joints of the body take longer to heal. These fractures affect important cartilage, requiring more effort to heal because more damage has been done. These injuries often result in loss of mobility to some degree and increase a person's chances of developing arthritis.
Surviving a bone fracture is painful and can result in long-term health problems such as arthritis. Understanding factors that can delay the healing process can help the victim come to terms with the injury. Increasing diet and health may help a person's chances of a speedy recovery.