Skip to main content

Fracture/Broken Bones

What is a fracture?

A fracture is a broken bone; the term fracture means the same as broken.


How do fractures happen?

Bones are incredibly strong and it normally takes a significant accident to cause a break. If you have broken a bone, you should have been seen by a healthcare professional qualified to diagnose the problem. Identifying a fracture normally involves taking an X-ray.


How are fractures treated?

As part of the treatment for your fracture, you should have been seen by a medical professional (normally a specialist doctor) who would have made a decision with you as to how it is best to treat the problem. Most fractures are treated with either immobilisation (keeping it still with a plaster cast or a sling) or surgery.


How long does a fracture take to heal?

Bone generally takes about 6 weeks to heal. Some health issues such as diabetes or smoking can change this, meaning healing might take a while longer.


What can I do to help my fracture heal?

You can help your body heal the fracture by making sure you exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, get good refreshing sleep and eat healthily (i.e. reduce your sugar and processed foods).

A referral to Physiotherapy is likely after your fracture has either healed or it has been agreed by the specialist doctor responsible for your care. Sometimes this might be before the 6 weeks have been completed.


When should I start moving again?

Make sure that you keep the rest of your body moving as normally as you can whilst you are recovering from your fracture.

In some cases, you don’t have to wait until the fracture is fully healed before you can start exercising the problem area. This will vary from person to person, but early exercise can help the body heal the fracture even better. Some people will have to wait until the plaster is removed or the doctor has specifically said that physiotherapy should begin.

After some fractures, people are given a specific set of instructions from their doctor or medical team. It is sensible to continue with these until you have spoken with your physiotherapist.

What should I expect?

Is it safe to exercise?

If you have been referred to Physiotherapy, it is likely that you would have been advised on exercise that might help your recovery. Exercise is the best medicine for your body and is good for helping people improve after a fracture. It is likely that, at first, the exercises might be hard work and may be uncomfortable, but often being patient with yourself and persevering will get the best results. If your exercise programme is causing you significant problems, please discuss this with your physiotherapist.

What can I do to help myself?

Click on one of the circles below to be taken through to our self-help pages.

Cookie Notice

Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.