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At some point of our lives most of us will experience a fracture. The good news is that a full recovery is possible.

There are two basic types of fracutres, simple in which the bone breaks cleanly and is not displaced, and compound where part of the broken bone pierces the overlying skin. But there are many other ways a bone can be broken including shattering, splintering and impacting. You can usually tell if you've broken a bone as you'll be in severe pain and will find it difficult to move or place weight on the affect part.

One of the most effective ways of getting a patient mobile again is to dispense with the plaster cast and immobilise the bone using metal plates or pins. This requires an operation either to connect the broken bone internally, using plates and screws or metal rods, or externally, with pins attached to the bone and an ajoining frame. This method is especially useful in treating fractures of the hip as these cannot be immobilised in plaster. This treatment also speeds recovery and the patient can return to his or her work or school within a few days. Physiotherapy will also help to restore as much movement as possible.

As with everything else, the best cure is prevention. Everyone can help maintain the strength of their bones by doing more exercise, eating a calcium rich diet and cutting down on drinking and smoking. Hormone Replacement Therapy is beneficial for women as it reduces the risk of early osteoporosis.