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MSN News: How to Help Fractures Heal Faster, According to Experts

MSN News recently published an interview with Clinton J. Soppe, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, about how to heal a broken bone and the differences between stress fractures and acute fractures.

An acute fracture is a cleaner, more prominent break that usually occurs after an accident, Soppe said in the story, which was first published by Runner’s World. He said that stress fractures are the result of small, repeated trauma that happens to the bone over time.

"While strategically putting weight on an acute fracture over time will be helpful, stress fractures are the complete opposite," Soppe said in the story. "If you continue to overstress that bone, it will get worse rather than better."

Stress fractures are common among runners, who can clock the same mileage and speed for years while wearing good shoes and still experience this type of break. "We don’t necessarily know why this happens, it may be related to hormonal changes or other biochemical shifts that come with aging, such as lower bone density overall," Soppe said in the story. "What we do know is that you need to stop running on it, so the bone can heal." 

Low-impact exercises, such as swimming, cycling, gentle yoga, or rowing can help maintain cardiovascular health while recovering from a stress fracture. Both types of breaks can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to fully heal, but they require different types of activity during recovery.

"The key takeaway is that if you have an acute fracture, you should allow that bone to be stressed once it’s considered stable, because that stimulates increased healing," Soppe said in the story. "With stress fractures, the focus should be on maintaining your endurance through exercise that doesn’t put any load on that affected bone."

Click here to read the complete article from MSN News.