Bone breaks and fractures occur when the force exerted on the bone exceeds the bone’s strength, causing a cracking or splitting of the bone. These types of bone injuries are quite common, every individual breaks, on average, two bones during their lifetime. According to the American Orthopedic Association over 6.8 million people are treated for bone fractures each year. Of these 6.8 million annual fractures, those sustained by individuals 75 years of age or older are almost entirely caused by slips and falls, however, below this age the majority of broken bones are caused by traffic accidents.
These discontinuities in the structure and texture in the bone are diagnosed using an x-ray, MRI or CT scan. Once the type of fracture is diagnosed the physician will be able to discern whether or not surgery will be needed. If surgery is deemed necessary the recovery period greatly exceeds the standard 8 weeks for simple fractures. More complicated fractures may even never fully heal; the affected area may remain structurally compromised and limit the individual’s ability to place strain on that bone. In this case an individual may be unable to complete common tasks that require even minimal physical exertion, often times this restricts one’s ability to return to work in the full capacity they did prior to the injury.