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How Long Does it Take for a Broken Bone to Heal?

May 10, 2023
How Long Does it Take for a Broken Bone to Heal?
If you broke a bone, you probably want to know one thing first and foremost: how long will you be out of commission? Here’s a look at the average healing time, plus ways you can shorten it.

A broken bone tops the list of things most people try to avoid. Beyond the initial pain from the traumatic accident, a broken bone means you’re down for the count for a while. Whether you’ve got your arm immobilized in a cast or you’re hobbling around on crutches, you probably want to get through that recovery window as quickly as possible.

And that begs the question: how long do broken bones usually take to heal?

That depends on the break and the choices you make afterward. To help you take steps to support yourself and speed your recovery, visit Karl Siebuhr, MD, and our team at Reconstructive Orthopaedics of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida. As an orthopaedic trauma specialist, Dr. Siebuhr can help you navigate the post-break period while taking steps to help your bone heal properly.

Average healing time for broken bones

For your bone to fully heal, it needs to move through three phases. The first phase, called fracture hematoma formation, happens when blood vessels in the area of the break form a clot. This usually takes about a week.

After that phase, your body starts to develop tissue — including cartilage — in the break. That tissue begins developing at the ends of the broken bones, then continues growing out until the two sides meet. Once they do, that tissue develops into spongy bone. Generally, this phase of the healing process takes a few weeks. 

Finally, your body begins the work of replacing the spongy bone with solid bone. This usually takes a few more weeks. 

All told, in most cases, this entire process to heal a broken bone usually takes around 6–8 weeks

That said, how long your broken bone takes to heal depends on the complexity of the break, along with other factors. Plus, your choices during recovery play a role in your individual timeline. Physical therapy and a healthy diet can help you heal faster, while smoking and alcohol can slow your bone regrowth. 

Getting on the road to recovery

Your body will do the healing work we just outlined, but it doesn’t have the capability to realign your bones as it does. That means that in order to ensure the area heals properly, you should have it examined with an X-ray.

Using that information, Dr. Siebuhr can determine if the bone will grow back together in alignment as it is post-break or if it needs intervention. He has the expertise to manipulate your bones, if needed, to ensure they grow back together properly. 

Without this key step, your could be waiting nearly two months to heal only to find you have more problems down the road. If you want to put your broken bone behind you as quickly as possible — for good — make sure you get treatment from an orthopaedic specialist like Dr. Siebuhr. 

To get the care you need at Reconstructive Orthopaedics of Central Florida, call our office or request your appointment online today.