I’m an Athlete with a Bone Fracture: Can I Play Again?

I’m an Athlete with a Bone Fracture: Can I Play Again?

Fractures are a common sports injury and one that requires limited use of the affected body part until the bone heals. If you’re an athlete with a broken bone, the only thing on your mind is: Can I play again?

At Healthcare Pain Centers LLC, our sports medicine specialist, Dr. Francisco del Valle, cares for all types of sports injuries, including fractures. Our team understands the itch you feel to get back to your usual level of activity as soon as possible.

Most athletes can play again after a bone fracture. However, the timing of when you can get back in the game varies.

Here, we want to talk about bone fractures in athletes, the recovery process, and when you can expect to play again.

Bone fractures in athletes

Trauma and overuse are common causes of bone fractures in athletes. Though you can break any bone in the body, fractures in athletes most commonly affect the hands, wrist, collarbone, ankles, and feet.

Bones can break in any number of ways. At our practice, we categorize fractures based on the type of break you have, which includes:

Stress fractures are overuse injuries that most often affect the weight-bearing bones in the legs or feet in athletes who play high-impact sports like track or basketball.

Fracture care and healing

Fracture care depends on the severity of your break. However, rest and immobilization of the bone is the primary treatment.

For simple fractures, you may only need a cast to keep the bones immobilized so they can heal. For a more complex fracture or open fracture, you need surgery to realign the bones along with pins, screws, or plates to keep the bones in place while they heal.

It can take weeks to months for your fracture to heal, depending on the severity of your fracture. 

However, you must not use the body part with the broken bone until we say it’s okay. This includes stress fractures, which may require up to eight weeks of rest.

Getting back to your game

We want you to play again just as much as you do. However, getting your cast removed doesn’t mean you’re all healed up and ready to go. 

You need to continue to limit activity and stress on the broken bone until it’s solid enough to handle normal activity. Then, we can start physical therapy to restore muscle strength and mobility.

Bone fractures take time to heal and require rest, which is hard for athletes. But once your bone is fully healed with rest and physical therapy, you can return to your sport and play again. 

Call or request an appointment online today at one of our offices in Old Bridge, Edison, or Freehold, New Jersey, so we can provide the help your body needs to heal. 

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