A broken bone is by nature a serious injury. Fractures are either considered closed, when the skin stays intact, or compound (sometimes called open), when the bone is exposed.

All fractures require treatment — for both proper bone healing and rehabilitation. Proper care is required to regain full use and range of motion.

How is a broken bone treated?

The type of therapy for a broken bone will differ based on the type of fracture. But in general, therapy begins when the cast is removed. Strengthening and aggressive range of motion exercises usually must wait until the bone has healed.

The physical therapist will:

  • Assess the fracture to make sure the patient can return safely to previous home and work activities.
  • Work with the patient to regain fitness.
  • Help the patient restore full movement and strength in a safe manner while healing occurs.
  • Guide the patient to a safe return to sports and other physical activities—a return too early after a fracture may increase the risk of another fracture.