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Can I take anything to heal a fracture more quickly?

Fractures are commonly encountered in our office, and never heal as quickly as you the patient would like. In fact, the pain will resolve before the fracture is fully healed.  With this in mind, however, there are several things that can affect the healing speed of any fracture.

  • Poor Healing Potential:  Poor nutrition, protein deficiency, smoking and even alcohol have been shown to interfere with healing of bone.  Smoking, for example, decreases blood flow to bone and will cause significant interference with bone healing (especially in feet and ankles).   Alcohol in excess has also been shown to be toxic to bone and may even lead to fractures.  Using care to limit these factors will increase your chances of healing.
  • Nutrition:  Fracture healing causes increased need for the intake of quality calories.  Increased caloric intake is often necessary to speed healing -- two to three times increase in calorie count may be required to match the energy needs of fracture healing (especially with multiple fractures).  The increased calorie count should be from healthy alternatives (not cookies, cakes, cheese burgers, etc.)
  • Protein Intake:  Protein is a key to bone healing, both because roughly half of bone volume is protein and many of the building blocks and enzymes the body utilizes in the healing process are formed from proteins.  Protein malnutrition or limitations may lead to a less rigid or "rubbery" callus.  Proper bone healing requires high protein levels to produce a rigid bony callus.
  • Increased Mineral Intake: Many individuals add calcium to their diet for bone healing, but this is insufficient to get necessary healing.  70% of bone weight is from minerals.  Fracture healing therefore requires the necessary minerals.

Minerals

Bone Healing Range/Day

Healing Potential

Calcium

800-1200mg

Main mineral of bone  (Dependant on vitamin D for absorption)
Phosphorus

800-1200mg

Main mineral of bone
Magnesium

400-800mg

 
Chromium

200-1000mcg

 
Silica (Silicon)

5-20mg

Important role in bone collagen formation.  Enhances effects of calcium and vitamin D on new bone formation
Zinc

12-30mg

Aids in callus formation, enhances bone protein production, and facilitates bone healing.
Manganese

2-10mg

 
Copper

1-3mg

Aids in formation of bone collagen.
Boron

3-5mg

 
Potassium

4000-6000mg

 
  • Increased Vitamin Intake: Vitamins play a key role in healing by stimulating the biochemical reactions that build the bone with the proteins and minerals.  In fracture healing, some principle vitamins are important.

Vitamins

Bone Healing Range/Day

Healing Potential

Vitamin D

800-2000 IU

Important regulator of calcium absorption.
Vitamin C

500-3000 mg

Important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient.  Also essential in bone collagen formation.
Vitamin K

K1: 250-1000 mcg

K2: 45-180 mcg

Essential part of the biochemical process that binds calcium to bone.
Vitamin B6

25-50 mg

Linked to bone healing
Folic Acid/Folate

400-1000 mcg

Linked to collagen formation
Vitamin B12

150-1000 mcg

Linked to bone healing
  • Other: There are also multiple herbal remedies/supplements  and alternative techniques that have been found to assist in bone healing.   

Our recommendation (and what Dr Gibson did) is take a combination of vitamins, minerals and herbs along with a balanced, nutritious diet to speed bone healing.

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute