Bone fracture healing is a complex process with four steps. All bone fractures must go through this process.
Step 1: Inflammation
When a bone fractures, white blood cells move in to the area to clean up debris created by the break. This creates inflammation, which triggers the growth of new blood cells — the first stage of healing.
Step 2: Soft callus
As blood cells divide and multiply near the break, new blood vessels develop to fuel the repair process. The body also begins to create cartilage around the bone fracture to bridge the gap in the bone. Called the soft callus, this cartilage is simply fibrous tissue.
Step 3: Hard callus
Eventually, the body replaces the soft callus with a hard callus, connecting the bone fragments more solidly. This stronger callus, which creates a bulge at the site of the fracture, can generally be seen in X-rays just a few weeks after the bone fracture occurs.
Step 4: Remodeling
In the final stage of bone fracture healing, the body replaces old bone with new bone in a continual process called remodeling. Remodeling makes bones stronger and more compact and blood circulation in the bone improves.
When a patient breaks a bone, doctors take measures to encourage strong, quick repair. These measures include:
Patients can also take measures to speed healing. While healing is happening:
*Summary of Indications for Use: The EXOGEN Ultrasound Bone Healing System is indicated for the non-invasive treatment of established non-unions† excluding skull and vertebra.
In addition, EXOGEN is indicated for accelerating the time to a healed fracture for fresh, closed, posteriorly displaced distal radius fractures and fresh, closed or Grade I open tibial diaphysis fractures in skeletally mature individuals when these fractures are orthopaedically managed by closed reduction and cast immobilization.
There are no known contraindications for the EXOGEN device. Safety and effectiveness has not been established for individuals lacking skeletal maturity; pregnant or nursing women; patients with cardiac pacemakers; on fractures due to bone cancer; or on patients with poor blood circulation or clotting problems. Some patients may be sensitive to the ultrasound gel. Full prescribing information can be found here or by contacting customer service at 800-396-4325.
†A non-union is considered to be established when the fracture site shows no visibly progressive signs of healing.
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