In this video we discuss how a bone heals from a fracture. We also cover the types of bone cells that contribute to the healing process and look at the types of bone fractures.
How does a bone heal
There are many different types of bone fractures, such as when a bone is shattered into multiple pieces, a linear fracture down the shaft, a displaced fracture where the bone is misaligned, or an oblique fracture where it has a sloped pattern. A doctor will treat each of these as they see fit.
In this video I am going to go through a very basic explaination of how the body heals a simple fracture. We are going to start by looking at some bone cells. First we have osteoblasts, which build up bone tissue. Osteoclasts are next, and they break down bone tissue. Chrondroblasts, which create fibrocartilaginous tissue, and fibroblasts which produce collegen fibers. All of these cells play important roles in the healing process.
So, lets say a bone breaks. We are going to assume it is well aligned. When the bone breaks, so do the blood vessels running down the bone, so, the first thing that is going to happen is bleeding, which will lead to a blood clot being formed. The area will also swell up. Next, phagocytes will come in and help clean up the area by removing dead cells and any germs that may have entered the area.
As the blood clot reduces, osteoclasts, which are a type of bone cell, appear and take care of dead bone fragments. Next, a fibrocartilaginous tissue is formed by the chrondroblasts, which holds the broken ends together. The osteoblasts and fibroclasts also begin their work at this time as well. This fibrocartilaginous tissue that is formed is called a soft callus.
This soft callus then hardens into a bony callus. This usually results in excessive bone tissue, so the osteoclasts reabsorb some of this extra tissue.
When this process is finished, it is usually not 100% perfect, so a slight bump may remain at the spot of the break. The fracture is then healed and healthy.
Some things that can impair proper healing include poor blood supply, poor general health can slow the process greatly, infections, age, as younger bones heal faster, and the type of break.
One thing that you can do to help your body recover from a broken bone is to eat plenty of nutrient rich foods such as fruits and veggies. The healing process requires a lot of energy, so increasing food consumption will help, and fruits and veggies are filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which will also aide in recovery.