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Elbow fracture, applied cast. How can I shorten recovery time? Will calcium supplements help?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I suffered with a small Elbow fracture (split fracture) in my right hand on Wednesday and was subsequently treated by application of a cast for bone recovery.
Tentative recovery time has been mentioned as 2-3 weeks by the treating doctor.
I want to shorten the recovery time as I am not able to do any office work without my right hand and my company can't give such large medical leave.
Please suggest some general steps that I can take to shorten the recovery time .
Ex: will taking vitamin D/calcium supplements help ?

Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 46 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

To make your fractured bones heal faster, dietary modifications and some lifestyle changes do play an important role.

1. You need to abstain from alcohol and smoking, avoid caffeine - tea, coffee, colas. Take calcium and vitamin D3 supplements as prescribed by your orthopedician.
2. You need to give adequate rest and immobilization of the affected arm for a faster healing. Constant movement causes mild displacement of fractured fragments thus delaying the healing.
3. The foods you need to take include yogurt, milk, dry fruits- dates & almonds, apples, soybean, broccoli, red grapes, peanuts, oatmeal and sesame seeds.
4. Lysine, Boron, Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin K supplements do also play a major role in bone healing along with calcium and Vitamin D3. You can add a multimineral supplement to your daily routine.

I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Elbow fracture, applied cast. How can I shorten recovery time? Will calcium supplements help? 48 minutes later

Thanks a lot for answering my query.
I will follow your recommendations.

2 small questions:

1. I am trying to use me right hand fingers a little as some people suggested that
keeping the fingers active is necessary to maintain blood circulation in the fractured hand. will using fingers affect the elbow recovery ? the elbow is
immobilized in a cast

2. If my recovery is faster after following your recommendations, is there a way to
come to know of it (besides x-ray) at a personal level. Does absence of pain
signal nearly-recovered bone ? Any other indicators I should look out for ?


Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 55 minutes later

Thanks for writing again.

1. You need to continue moving your fingers as much as you can to avoid post traumatic stiffness and to maintain the circulation in the hand. You can close and open your fist repeatedly during the day. Do not try to lift any weights or drive a vehicle.

2. Absence of pain indicates that the fractured fragments are immobile and are in the process of healing. It does not indicate about the extent of healing that has taken place. X-ray is the only way to know the extent of healing as we can see the amount of callus tissue that has formed around the site of fracture.

Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer and close the discussion in case there are no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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