Broken Bones(Fractures)-Setting And Healing Period
When a bone is broken, the most important thing to do is to keep the bone in a fixed position. This prevents more damage to the bone and let it mend.
Before trying to move carry a person with a broken bone, keep the bones from moving with splints, strips of bark or a sleeve of cardboard. Later a plaster cast can be put on the limb at a health center, or perhaps you can make a cast.
If the bones seem more or less in the right position, it is better not to move them; this could do more harm than good. If the bones are far out of position and the break is recent, you can try to set or straighten them before putting on a cast.
The sooner the bones are set, the easier it will be. Before setting, if possible inject or give diazepam to relax the muscle and calm pain.
HOW TO SET A BROKEN WRIST
- Pull the hand forcefully and steadily for 5 to 10 minutes in order to separate the broken bones.
- With one person still pulling the hand, there should be another person who will gently line up and straighten the bones.
Note that it is possible to do a lot of damage while trying to set a bone. So it is advisable that setting of a broken bone should be done with the help of someone who has experience it. Make sure that you do not force.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A BROKEN BONE TO HEAL
The older the person who gets his or her broken, the longer the healing takes. Children bones mend with speed. Those of old people sometimes never join together again. A broken arm should be kept in a cast for about a month and there should be no force put on it for another month.
A broken leg should remain in a cast for about 2 months.
BROKEN THIGH BONE
A broken upper leg often needs special attention. It is much better to splint the whole body. Then take the injured person to the orthopedic hospital.
BROKEN NECK AND BACKS
If there is any chance a person’s neck or back has been broken, be very careful when moving him or her. Make sure you try as much as possible not to change the person’s position. If possible, bring a health worker before moving him or her. But if you must move the person, do so without bending his back or neck. Below are the ways you can move badly injured person :
- With a great care, lift the injured person without bending him or her anywhere. Take special care that the head and neck do not bend.
- Have another person put the stretcher in place.
- With the help of everyone, place the injured person carefully on the stretcher.
- If the neck is injured or broken, put bags filled with pieces of cloths or tightly folded clothing on each side of the head to keep it from moving.
When carrying the person, try to keep the feet up even on hills.
These are very painful, but they almost heal on their own. It is better not to splint or bind the chest. The best treatment is to take aspirin and rest. To keep the lungs healthy, take 4 or 5 deep breath in a row in every 2 hours. Do this daily until you can breathe normally. At first, this will be very painful. It may take months before the pain goes completely.
A broken rib does not often puncture a lung. But if the person coughs blood or develops breathing difficulties, use antibiotics ( penicillin or ampicillin ) and then seek medical help.
BROKEN BONES THAT BREAK THROUGH THE SKIN ( COMPOUND FRACTURE)
Since the danger of infection is very great in these cases, it is always better to get help from a health worker or doctor in caring for the injury. Make sure you clean the wound and the exposed bone very thoroughly with boiled water.
Never put the bone back into the wound until the wound and the bone is absolutely clean. You can as well splint the limb to prevent more injuries.
If the bone has broken the skin, use an antibiotic immediately in high doses to prevent infections using penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline.
Never rub or massage a broken limb or a limb that may possibly be broken.