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Rehabilitation after fractures

After a fracture, a bone needs a fixation and immobilization in order to heal properly. The immobilization time differs between types and area of the fractures but often is around 6 weeks (even though some fractures require 3 months or a surgery to internally fixate the fracture). During the rest and immobilization, sporadic adhesive connective tissue is formed at the fracture level, in adjacent joints and tissues. These adhesions are formed in an irregular pattern and their purpose is to isolate and support the stability of the affected area in order to allow a symmetrical and functional healing process.

The problem starts because these adhesions adhere also to healthy tissue as well, limiting the range of motion of the joint and area and cause pain and limitation during movement after the cast is removed. Also, due to the prolonged immobilization, muscles tend to atrophy, connective tissues shorten which adds to the limitation.

The rehabilitation process after the cast is removed, comprises of manual therapy, massages and mobilization to restore the functional range of motion, strengthening of atrophied muscles, stretches and stability exercises until a healthy painless movement pattern returns or until the return to the patient's primary sport.