The normal healing time of a fracture varies from 4 weeks to more than 16 weeks depending on the location, the mechanism of injury, and the degree of soft tissue disruption. In addition, there are a number of intrinsic and extrinsic host factors which are associated with delayed union .
Additionally, many reports demonstrate a higher rate of bone fracture, and these are associated with increased morbidity and mortality [3–5]. A decline in healing potential is observed in the elderly, and this may result in increased rates of delayed healing or nonunions .
Depending on the severity of the fracture and how well a person follows their doctor’s recommendations, bones can take between weeks to several months to heal. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average bone healing time is between 6 – 8 weeks, although it can vary depending on the type and site of the injury.
When an older adult suffers a bone fracture, the body directs more resources toward the break, but the bone itself is already involved in a losing cycle of bone removal and replacement, with more bone being removed than being replaced.
Dealing with a broken bone Even if you do break a bone, remember that plenty of older adults do make a full recovery and get back to their normal lives.
Until you see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan, you should not walk on a suspected broken foot, because walking on a broken foot too soon could cause more damage to the foot. The doctor will tell you whether you can walk on a broken foot or not.
Recovering from a broken leg It takes around 6 to 8 weeks for a minor fracture to heal. You’ll probably need to use crutches or a wheelchair during this time, until it’s possible to put weight on the leg again. You’ll be shown how to safely use any mobility equipment you’re provided with.
In some cases, they may cause your body to pull nutrients from the bones. Foods to avoid include foods high in sugar or salt, red meat, alcohol and caffeine. It is best to abstain from alcohol while healing a broken bone. Patients, who smoke, have a much longer average time to healing.
A wide variety of factors can slow down the healing process. These include: Movement of the bone fragments; weightbearing too soon. Smoking, which constricts the blood vessels and decreases circulation.
There are four stages in the repair of a broken bone: 1) the formation of hematoma at the break, 2) the formation of a fibrocartilaginous callus, 3) the formation of a bony callus, and 4) remodeling and addition of compact bone.
Age-related differences in wound healing have been clearly documented. Although the elderly can heal most wounds, they have a slower healing process, and all phases of wound healing are affected. The inflammatory response is decreased or delayed, as is the proliferative response.
Elevated Death Risks According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, broken bones have a long-lasting effect in older individuals. Specifically, this injury can increase death risk for up to 10 years after the incident and may be a catalyst for other adverse health events.
The most common fractures in older adults are vertebral fracture from compression or trauma, followed by hip and distal radius fractures.
Conclusion: Surgery is the treatment of choice for patients aged 90 years and older with proximal femoral fracture. However, they have a lower rate of regaining pre- injury walking ability and a higher in-hospital death rate than younger patients.
One in three adults aged 50 and over dies within 12 months of suffering a hip fracture. Older adults have a five-to-eight times higher risk of dying within the first three months of a hip fracture compared to those without a hip fracture. This increased risk of death remains for almost ten years.
The length of recovery from hip fractures among older patients can increase with age. In general, the older individuals are and the greater number of conditions they have, the longer it can take to recover. The recovery time for a hip replacement ranges from four weeks to up to six months.