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What Can I Do for Healthy Bones?
 Dr Vivek Dahiya

What Can I Do for Healthy Bones?

A healthy nutritious well balanced diet from childhood goes a long way to make healthy bones. Consider bones to be a bank where you can deposit upto the age of 25 to 28. From there on, no credit is possible, one only takes away something from our bones. Hence, it is imperative to do the following for healthy bones:

  •   Eat well
  •   Exercise regularly
  •   Be in the sun (don't shy away from the sun)

So eat healthy, play regularly and stay out in the sun a bit longer. These will help you get healthier bones.

I fell down while playing soccer/cricket. My knee hurts. What should I do?

One can get injured if one plays a sport. It is imperative to treat any injury judiciously so that no permanent harm comes to you. If you were able to get up on your own and the pain subsided overnight then most probably no damage was incurred. If the pain persists or the joint swells up then you need help. Also, if after the injury the knee joint feels unstable i.e. you are not comfortable putting weight on the leg or the leg gives way as soon as you put weight on the knee you are in trouble.

After any injury put an icepack and take a pain killer if pain persists for more than a couple of hours. A crepe bandage will help you feel better. Swelling in the joint or pain that persists after a couple of days or instability in the joint means that you need to see you orthopedic surgeon. He will evaluate the status of the knee joint and take an x ray to check the bones. If the bones are not fractured and the symptoms persist or are severe enough a MRI scan may be performed to assess any damage to your ligaments or cartilage or meniscus in your knee. In case of any damage to the above you may need arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery to rectify the damage so that you can get back to the sport you love.

I have a fracture. My doctor has suggested surgery. Why is surgery needed after a fracture?

A fracture causes a discontinuity in the bone and hence its treatment depends on the location and severity of the fracture.

Fractures of Long bones such as the thigh or leg bone, arm or the forearm frequently need surgery to restore alignment which may be difficult to achieve or hold in a cast. Surgery also allows for early mobilization of nearby joints so that they don't become stiff and the muscles do not become weak (these two problems frequently occur when using a cast to treat fractures). Fractures involving joints always need surgery because the joint surfaces must be restored to their pre-injury congruency. If the joint is not congruent then we risk continuous pain and early arthritis in the joint.

All fractures don't need a surgery. Some fractures in the hand or foot, shoulder blade or collar bone frequently are treated successfully by means of casts or slings.


Dr Vivek Dahiya
Additional Director- Fortis Bone & Joint Institute

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