Broken Bones

How do broken bones heal? Read more to find out!

Bone is found in every body and is living and growing tissue consisting of collagen and calcium.

When a bone breaks, the first thing that occurs is bleeding. Then, this clotted blood collects together around the fractured bone (this is known as Hematoma and results in inflammation). Stem cells, bone marrow and blood surround the fractured bone and starts the processes of bone formation and cartilage formation.

New bone first starts to form at the edges of the fracture and soft cartilage is made between the broken ends of the bone around 8 days after the initial injury. However, because cartilage alone is not strong enough to provide enough strength to bones, the soft cartilage is replaced with hard callus and then eventually, new mature bone starts to bone. Interestingly, fractured bones can take up to several years to heal, depending on the size and location of the fracture.

When complications occur and the bone is not able to heal properly, significant health problems can occur. These fractures take abnormal amounts of time to heal, or may not even heal at all. If non-healing fractures occur in areas that are used a lot (for example in the shinbone) an operation may be needed by using bone from somewhere else in the body, bone from a donor, or a 3D printed bone (only used for major factors where a large amount of bone tissue has been lost).

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