Can you heal broken bones faster?

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Can you heal broken bones faster?



I have just got the go ahead that the 15 pins and 3 plates will be removed from by previously broken elbow in a few months. I am so relieved after the Orthopedic surgeon nearly used a prosthetic elbow to fix 'humpy dumpty'. The Orthopedic surgeon was even surprised himself to say that I am able to go back on my bike. He said the first time he met me and saw the fracture he thought it would take 18 months at least. Now 5 months later I am going back on the bike.

Is it possible to speed up recovery from a broken bone?

Had you asked my Orthopedic surgeon or physiotherapist this question five months ago, the answer they would have given is "NO." Now 5 months later I have made significant strides, proving that you can! During the visits to my physiotherapist, I realised that most broken bones are a result of very silly accidents occurring during our everyday lives. You don't have to be parachuting from a bridge. One lady tripped in Rosebank Mall and broke both wrists ending up with 2 plates and 10 pins in her hand. Another lady slipped in the shower and nearly had the same elbow fractures as mine, she ended up with 3 plates and 12 pins.

I believed if one extra thing I did would improve my recovery by 5% it is worth doing . Every 5% will start adding up to make a 100.

We have often heard the adage that "what you focus on will become." In order for us to have superb health we need to focus on that superb health. It is very important to take all the right decisions and action steps to achieve the results.

Health is like a puzzle. Each small puzzle piece, when added together, make the final picture. And as all you puzzle lovers know, there is a system that can speed up the building of a puzzle. Start with the corners, then group all the similar colours together etc... In health we can follow a system that will give us the best results. This sometimes does require a bit of patience.

What I did during my recovery and what I learned that will help you to heal faster.

During the process of healing, I changed my prescription medication to optimise my bodies natural healing capability.

Here is a summary:

Day 1 - 7
Time spend in hospital. I added homoeopathic remedies to assist with recovering from the affects of the anesthesia. I was anesthetized twice in the ER, again for a 4 hour operation on day 3 and then again for a 1.5 hour operation on day 7.

Week 2 - 5
During this time the body creates a lot of inflammation to help protect us from infection. This is a period were pain can be also significant due to this process. It is good to have some inflammation. But it should be controlled, although not entirely suppressed.


Two days after I was home I also stopped all anti-inflammotory medication. Anti inflammatory medication, known as NSAID (non-steroidal anti inflammatory) medication causes leaky gut. Just the word "leaky" gives you an idea that this isn't great. This is when the gut is excessively permeable and some protein particles enter the blood stream. This can result in abnormally aggressive immune responses that often manifest as rashes and sinus complaints. It also impacts nutrient absorption. Fancy fact - 80% of your happy hormone (Serotonin) comes from the gut. This possibly explains why so many people become depressed after surgeries and the use of NSAID drugs. Above all of this, NSAID for pain also interfere with healing. They may mask the pain, but don't allow cartilage to be synthesized (inflammation stimulates the generation of cartilage following injury). So now the body can't affect healing in a joint that may be injured. I selected natural medicines for pain management and healing support that would not damage the lining and integrity of the gut wall.

I have not had an antibiotic in the last 15 years. Antibiotics don't only target pathogenic bacteria but also kill the good bugs that are so essential to our digestive health. So after receiving antibiotics for a potential fear of infection of the bone I aggressively addressed my gut. 80% of the immune system is related to the gut. I used potent probiotics and prebiotics to fix the gut.

Vitamin D - Vitamin D is one of the most often forgotten nutrients for good health (it is actually a pro-hormone). We need to get about 20 min of sunshine a day without sunscreen. Due to our lifestyles about 90% of South Africans are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D has many functions including controlling inflammation, bone health (more important than Calcium), moods (low mood can be contributed to low Vitamin D levels) and a good immune system.

Mitochondria boost - you have within each cell of your body 20 000 mitochondria (60 000 in heart muscle tissue). They are the powerhouses of your cells, the part that is responsible for making energy. This energy makes the cells works more effectively at vital processes (healing, immune function, tissue regeneration and eliminating toxins).

Emotional support - what is worse than just breaking one elbow? I can only imagine both. Breaking a bone can be a very traumatic experience, not just from the physical side but also the emotional side. I will chat more about this in another newsletter but for now I can say I used a lot of homoeopathic and herbal remedies to help me during this time.


Week 6 - 10
Treating the bone and stiffness
The elbow (the bone I smashed) is one of the most complex joints in the body. There are 3 bones involved, several nerves and numerous muscles, ligaments and tendons. Due to the fact that the elbow is immobilized after surgery, it takes about 3 weeks before you can start to move the joint. There is a lot of stiffness involved.
I used Chinese Medicines and serrapeptase to dissolve scar tissue and omega oils for inflammation, lubrication of joints and for skin elasticity. I also administered Homoepathic injection for my elbow to speed up recovery, treat inflammation and break down scar tissue.

In fact, I used the same medications for a patient to make her 15 year old caesarian scar disappear. The other day when we looked there is absolutely no sign of it.

Week 11 - now
The focus is on strengthening the arm and preventing any arthritic changes.
Glucosamine and chondroitin in the right form and in therapeutic dose may restore joint mobility. The added MSM helps for pain.

Acupuncture played a big role in my recovery with the aid of the bioptron light to bring about healing.
I was tracking my progress very carefully. When we monitor how we improve it is easier to stay motivated.
Two weeks ago I swam 3km (120 lengths in the pool)-and yes very tricky to keep count of the laps.
Back on my MTB - to me this is freedom.

My aim when treating you is to get you in the best condition you have been or even better and to let you be able to do the things you need to do and love to do.

Some interesting facts about the muscle and joint system.

Natural meds are available to manage pain and help with healing
If you wait after a sprain or strain to see if it gets better instead of treating the injury, the tendon never goes back to its histological length. Meaning it truly becomes a weak spot in your body. The sooner you treat muscular injuries the better the long term outcome.

Your Achilles tendon is the tendon in your body with the least amount of blood flow and that is why it takes such a long time to treat.
If you have had an ankle sprain there is a 80% chance of spraining the ankle again if you do not treat the inflammation correctly. Also the correct proprioceptor exercises need to be done. These are the exercises that creates the neural pathway were the brain speaks to the body and restores balance.

So if you have any friends or family that you think can benefit from natural medicine for joint and muscles problems feel free to forward this mail to them and if they need me to work out an individual programme for them they can arrange an appointment. Skype calls can also be arranged.

Author - Dr Debbie Smith

Published - 2015-08-25