How to heal dem bones, dem bones, dem broken bones?
May 1, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I managed to break my right ring finger in a cycling accident (completely clean break between knuckles) and now have pins in for ~3wks. I'm interested in finding out what foods, supplements, etc I should be looking at to help speed up the healing/mending process – *or* – even ones I should be avoiding.
posted by hrbrmstr to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Best answer: I had the same injury around 5 years ago, except in my left pinky finger.

I didn't change up my diet during the time, nor was I advised to. I ate a fairly standard diet in lines with typical RDAs and took a multivitamin. I did have daily calcium through dairy (mostly yogurt), but I can't imagine it was substantially more than the RDA. I didn't avoid carbonated beverages.

Similar to you, my pins were in for just under three weeks. A pin became infected in the end, which led to slightly early removal (which, just to warn you, was a one-second operation involving the words "let me take care of that" and a quick yank. Ach!)

As encouragement, I got 90% of the range of motion back in the finger after a couple of months of PT, and a couple of years after the fact, it's at 100%. You'd never know the bone was severed. I can even crack my knuckles on that finger now!
posted by eschatfische at 1:09 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think homeopathy is coodoo magic, but people swear by Arnica Montana
posted by munchingzombie at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2008

pixie dust
posted by pearlybob at 1:40 PM on May 1, 2008

Your diet is not going to affect the healing process one way or the other, unless it's sufficiently bizarre as to negatively affect your health generally.

I know it would be nice to be told that eating some particular herb or pill or obscure vegetable will make you heal faster, but there just isn't anything like that.
posted by Class Goat at 1:43 PM on May 1, 2008

Calcium 1000-2000 mg/day and vitamin D 800 units/day.
posted by neuron at 1:45 PM on May 1, 2008

There's nothing that will do this. Physical therapy, if recommended, could.. but when I broke my 5th metacarpal (also cycling) in a similarly clean break, I got my Ti plate installed and waited a few months to regain my range of motion. Time's the healer.
posted by kcm at 1:46 PM on May 1, 2008

I second the people who suggest calcium and vitamin D. Here's my hand a few years ago.
posted by workerant at 2:42 PM on May 1, 2008

FWIW, green tea very much enhances the body's natural ability to fight disease. Not that that specifically would help your bones, aside from just making your body stronger as a whole in order to take care of business.

A guy I know was recently diagnosed w/ prostate cancer and scheduled surgery 6 or so months out from the date of the diagnosis. In the meantime, he essentially cut dairy, bad fats, and refined sugar from his diet and started guzzling 8 to 10 cups of green tea daily. Within 3-4 months, his PSA results had changed so dramatically that surgery was no longer really even an option, due to the fact the cancer was essentially stopped and/or moving backward.

Crazy stuff. I started drinking it.
posted by BirdD0g at 2:56 PM on May 1, 2008

I think homeopathy is coodoo magic, but people swear by Arnica Montana

Arnica is a perfectly respectable herbal medicine. It contains helenalin which has been shown to be a good topical anti-inflammatory, especially for bruises. Homeopathic remedies containing Arnica are going to contain a miniscule amount of the herb and are used in a different way.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:29 PM on May 1, 2008

Avoiding pop and caffeine may help although with a broken finger it's not likely to be a big deal. Make sure you get enough vitamin C - it helps your body utilize the extra calcium everyone is recommending.

There have been some studies that show that ibuprofin and other nsaids, more specifically COX-2 inhibitors, interfere with bone growth. When I broke my ankle a few years ago my orthopod said acetaminophen or narcotics but not nsaids. (This was a nuisance!) Hopefully you're not in a lot of pain so this is moot.
posted by leslies at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2008

Response by poster: What's in the carbonation that has a negative impact? I don't do corn syrup, but I do consume club soda and seltzer, plus a sucralose-charged Monster energy drink almost daily. No Coke/Pepsi, et al, but I also get my daily Americano in.

I kinda figured there was no magic, but the advice and ideas so far are great. Much appreciated!

This is my finger, btw:
posted by hrbrmstr at 3:13 PM on May 2, 2008

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