Eating to Heal a Broken Bone

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Eating to Heal a Broken Bone

11, June 2014 8:00 AM


milk is good for your bonesTwo weeks ago my twenty-year-old son was riding a skateboard down a hill when he realized that he didn't know how to stop. I am partly to blame for this because as he was growing up I discouraged skateboard riding. There is video evidence that I bought Brian and his brother the world's worst skateboard in their youth – it rolled so poorly they quickly gave up the sport.

After his fall he proceeded to ignore the symptoms, assuming that his wrist was only sprained. He did go to the drug store and buy a splint but that was the end of his first aid efforts.

Five days later he made it to the health center at his university where he learned his bone was not only broken but the break would require him to see a hand specialist, and the sooner, the better.

When we saw the hand specialist, they moved his wrist from the splint to a cast. It's a serious break and he will need to return to the specialist every two weeks for the next several months to determine whether it will heal on its own or require surgery. The doctor's final piece of advice: drink a lot of milk and eat cheese and yogurt to promote healing since milk is good for your bones. Always a big milk drinker, Brian said, "No problem with that!" 

He is happy that he'll be living at home this summer with his registered dietitian nutritionist mother who keeps a refrigerator well stocked with milk, cheese and yogurt along with his other favorites from all five food groups. And now I have one more reason to grab that extra gallon of milk. In fact, with three college students living with us this summer, if you are looking for me, you might want to try the grocery store! 

After the appointment, we went out to breakfast. When the waitress was taking his order, she asked him what he wanted to drink with his meal. He looked at the menu, looked up at me and we both smiled as he said, "I'll take milk!" 

 

Maureen Bligh, MA, RDN
Director, Resource Development and Marketing

 

Maureen is a registered dietitian nutritionist and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

Update 7/17/2014

 

I got a text while I was at work yesterday from Brian, "NO MORE CAST!!! Your boy is free!!" At his appointment we were hoping he would hear that his bone was healing but expected more time in the cast since the doctor had given a 2 - 6 month range. Brian was thrilled to hear the cast is no longer required (though he needs a brace while working at summer camp and a month of physical therapy). The healing was fast and no surgery required. 

A balanced diet including generous portions of milk, cheese and yogurt (calcium), plenty of sunshine (vitamin D) and lots of physical activity (blood flow to the bone) got the job done.

Resources and References:

Calcium Calculator

Optimizing Bone Health in Children and Adolescents; AAP Policy Document http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/134/4/e1229.full.html 




Tags: bone Healthy eating healthy foods Maureen Bligh milk

4 Comments


  • Massey 149 days ago
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  • Jamie Rivet 1 years 233 days ago
    Diary is a killer! AVOID at all costs

    Reply
  • AMARJYOTI CHOUDHURY 2 years 330 days ago
    how to eat best nutritious foods to heal the broken bone of leg

    Reply
  • Maureen Bligh 5 years 1 days ago
    Here is good reference on how to heal a broken bone quickly - the focus is on total diet and not supplements.
    http://orthopedics.about.com/od/castsfracturetreatments/ht/quickly.htm. "Healing of bone requires more nutrients that the body needs to simply maintain bone health. Patients with injuries should eat a balanced diet, and ensure adequate nutritional intake of all food groups."

    Reply

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