Inquiring Minds Want to Know – How Do Broken Bones Heal?

In order to answer the question of how do broken bones heal, you have to first understand the composition of bones. We think of them as a hard substance that never changes, but the truth is bones are made of living tissue with a chemical composition. Researchers have discovered that bones serve many purposes besides structural support for the body. Bones are almost like wells containing minerals the body can draw upon when necessary.

The bones in your body are constantly renewing over a lifetime. In fact, every ten years or so adults can claim a whole new skeleton. Its an amazing process that involves the removal of old bone and the creation of new bone. Its an ongoing drama that plays an important role during the healing process when broken.

Bones are made of calcium and phosphorus mineral crystals that bind to collagen proteins. Collagen is present throughout the body in different forms, and most people have no idea that Type I collagen is an integral part of bone construction. The blood stream carries the building materials to the bones, and the blood stream carries the minerals from the bones to the rest of the body also. When looking at how do broken bones heal, blood flow is found to play a crucial role.

Since bones are constantly renewing over a lifetime, they are good at repairing themselves after breaking. When a bone is broken, the body gets to work creating a new supply of minerals that are deposited at the site of the break. Slowly, over time, the new cells are laid until the break is closed. The blood flow to the bones is the source of new materials. The closer a break is to the blood flow, the faster the bone will heal. For example, a simple fracture near the end of a bone will heal much faster than a break in the middle of the bone.

So exactly how do broken bones heal? When you break a bone, the next thing that happens is the blood clots to prevent excessive bleeding inside the bone. The body then removes the blood clot and deposits a temporary patch called a bone callus. Next, the body gets to work laying new bone cells to permanently fix the break.

When you look at how do broken bones heal, its hard not to compare the process to a construction job where a wall is being built. A wall goes up one layer at a time using brick or stone. Bones heal in a similar manner. Layer upon layer of new cells are laid until the broken bone ends are fused together.

How do broken bones heal? They heal through an amazing physical renewal process!