Can time heal a fractured bone?
December 14, 2007 3:45 PM Subscribe
What would happen if you fractured a bone and never got it treated?
posted by actionpact to health & fitness (15 answers total)
Purely theoretical question ahead, but I can't figure this answer out:
I've been having some weird dreams lately, and one of them was really long. I dreamt I was in high school and fell up a flight of stairs-- causing some pain to my tibias. (Like, I landed on the edge of the stairs--my high school's was metal edged marble steps.) In my dream I was pretty convinced that I had if not broken them totally, done some kind of fracture damage to them. But I kept on dreaming and got to the present date (~10 years later) without ever getting them treated. I remember being able to feel my bones and feel a slight indent, and I'd occasionally feel slight pain if I hit those bones or jumped a lot, but did nothing about it.
Anyway, long story short the end of the dream? I started walking a long distance and eventually both my legs broke. Picture like someone chopping a tree-- timberrrr! It was pretty gruesome and I woke up disturbed about the whole thing. I can still recall the snapping sound. Ick!
So what I was wondering is-- say something like this happened-- like a person got some kind of fracture that was not serious enough to debilitate them (I figure it must happen, people often break toes without realizing it)-- would time heal that wound? I've never broken a bone (to my knowledge anyway) so my knowledge is pretty limited in that way, but I know big fractures need to be set in order to heal-- but if it was something that didn't snap the bone all the way through, maybe it would heal on its own? Or would such a thing heal better if you did better things, like take calcium supplements/drink a lot of milk? And if calcium intake improves it, say you ignored it for several years, could you then take a lot of calcium and heal them okay after the fact? And lastly, could you wear down your bones enough to snap them in a low impact situation? I'm thinking that's more my own dreams acting as fantasy more than anything else.