Topic of the month – December 2013

Out on the ice – broken bones are not rare occurrences in winter

Not only children and older people have problems in winter: A moment of carelessness and it suddenly happens. Arm, wrist or ankle is broken. Unfortunately not every fracture is able to be provisioned only with a cast. In many cases a prior operation is necessary. Here the rule applies: The follow-up care should be starting as soon as possible so that no lifelong scar results from a little slip-up.

A sturdy structure – and nevertheless fragile

Although healthy bones are very sturdy, with exertion of a large force such as e.g. a fall on a smooth surface, they can nevertheless fracture. Thereby the risk for incurring a bone fracture changes with the age. Whereas with children the bone structure is still quite elastic, at an increasing age it becomes more and more brittle as the ratio between the mineral and elastic portions in the bone changes. The consequence: The bone fractures more easily and requires longer to heal again.

Today in more than 90% of all cases previously sturdy bones are just as strong after a fracture as they were before. This is above all due to modern treatment methods that have improved tremendously in the last years.

Diagnosis and first aid

For a layperson a fracture is not easily detectable in all cases, because the bone is not always displaced or protruding through the skin. With a suspected bone fracture first aid measures should be specifically undertaken and a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. To secure the diagnosis an x-ray picture is necessary in all cases.

  • Do not realign the bone and also do not relocate it if it is dislocated - this only causes unnecessary pain.
  • Keep the fractured part of the body still and if necessary carefully cushion it.
  • With closed fractures usually swelling occurs. Here it may be helpful to carefully cool the area.
  • Open fractures should be treated like a wound and be covered with sterile dressing.

Remain with the injured person until the rescue service arrives and ensure that the person is not undercooled or falls into a state of shock.

With complicated fractures operation necessary

Today complicated fractures are not only immobilised by means of a cast, but often also fixed through plates, screws or nails within the scope of an operation. This ensures that the fracture knits together correctly and that the fracture does not become displaced. In addition it reduces the duration of the cast treatment and allows an early start of the physiotherapy - the patients are mobileagain significantly faster. However screws, plates and other fixtures sometimes need to be removed again when the fracture has sufficiently healed. This requires a second operation.

The correct follow-up care reduces scar formation

Depending on the location and extent of the fracture large incisions may also be necessary within the scope of the operation, which can develop to unpleasant scars. Therefore especially after operations it is important to start with the appropriate follow-up care in good time. As soon as the wound had closed and the sutures have been removed the seam should be treated with Contractubex. The unique complex contains active ingredients that support the skin in the natural healing process. Redness and itching is alleviated and the formation of excessive scar tissue is reduced – for an inconspicuous scar that can hardly be seen or felt.


Contractubex® Composition: 100 g gel contains: 10.0 g Extr. cepae, 5000 IU heparin sodium, 1.0 g allantoin. Indications: Hypertrophic and keloidal scars, movement-restricting and cosmetically disfiguring scars after operations, amputations, burns, and accidents; contractures such as Dupuytren’s contracture and traumatic tendon contractures; cicatricial strictures. Contraindications: Hypersensitivity to parabens. Side effects: Very rare skin reactions. Mode of action: Contractubex® exerts an antiproliferative, antiinflammatory, softening, and smoothing action on proliferating scar tissue. Dosage: Unless otherwise prescribed, Contractubex® should be gently massaged into the skin several times a day until all the gel has been absorbed. In the case of hardened older scars, it may be necessary to cover the treated area with a dressing overnight. Interactions: None known. Package sizes: 20 g, 50 g. Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Eckenheimer Landstraße 100, D-60318 Frankfurt/Main, Germany

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