Sticks and stones and broken bones

I believe that life is about taking risks and trying new things. Unfortunately my most recent risk taking activity resulted in an accident; I tried snowboarding for the first time last weekend at Hunter Mountain and broke my radius bone by falling onto my hand. Yep this is me. So I’m currently a little frustrated and unable to partake in many activities for at least a month while my wrist heals in a cast. But I don’t regret trying snowboarding and would go back again tomorrow if I could. There’s something amazing about being out in the elements, speeding across the snow with the mountains around you. Luckily I got to spend one day skiing before being resigned to the apres-ski fun only.

It’s the first time I’ve broken a bone and, before this, I never really thought about how bones heal. It’s incredible that the human body can fix a bone. The healing process immediately when the blood vessels constrict to stop blood flow to the area. A few hours later a blot clot forms around the broken bone. Once the blood clot cells die,  fibroblasts produce collagen, the protein in bones. In the next step, a few days later, the fibroblasts turn into chondroblasts, from which cartilage develops, bridging any gap in the fracture and forming a callus around the break. The cartilage is then replaced with trabecular or spongy bone. And finally this is converted to compact bone in the ‘remodeling’ stage of healing, where the bone is restored to its traditional shape.

For a wrist fracture, the healing process can take between 4 – 12 weeks. To me this currently seems like an eternity and I wanted to know how I can make the healing process as quick as possible. The first thing I did was to stop taking the Ibuprofen given to me by the doctor: the anti-inflammatory nature of the drug actually hinders the forming of new cells and could delay the healing process. The next thing I did was to buy some vitamin and mineral supplements and research how I can help my body heal through nutrition (more on this coming shortly).

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3 Responses to Sticks and stones and broken bones

  1. Monica Emmons says:

    This is really fantastic. Really.

  2. Pingback: Bone food | health food soul

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