Considerations for the Treatment of Fractures

When a bone is broken the slightest movement of the broken segments cause pain.  When healing begins a mesh starts to form around the fracture segments.  This mesh is referred to as a "calus" and is similar to a scab on the broken skin. The calus network is what holds the ends of the bones together to allow the bone to heal.   The calus usually takes about 10 days to form but with the addition of vitamin C the timeframe can be reduced to about 4-5 days. 
Dogs, for example, make their own vitamin C but increasing the amount to a therapeutic level for a limited time can facilitate the formation of the calus and thus reduce the animal's pain.  It must be noted though, the structure of the calus is not completely healed within this short timeframe and if caution is not observed, a re-fracture can easily occur.  The complete 6-8 weeks is needed to achieve bone structure stability.
The formation of the calus can be observed upon the radiograph and is important to note, as this procedure is very controversial.  However, in fragile conditions such as an upper-cervical (neck) fracture, the ability to stabilize the fracture site quickly is critical as the animal's neck is generally not casted.  Dr. DeGrasse has discovered how valuable this technique can be as she has been able to restore many paralyzed animals with spinal fractures or head dislocations to movement.   Please note:  the animals spoken of here were given no hope of recovery and this type of work is very experimental.  All parties involved were in agreement as to the available options and potential outcomes.

When a bone fracture occurs, please understand that the forces that caused the bone to separate are the same forces applied to the spinal column and joints of the extremities. In other words, if a bone is going to break there has to be a misalignment of the nearest joint. This is because the muscles went into spasm to try to prevent the bone from breaking. And the tendons and ligaments were also compromised from whatever force was applied to the broken area. The application of the cast puts an extra weight load upon the spinal column and the affected extremity. This causes a misalignment as there is not any time for the body to adjust to the added weight load. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the animal to receive chiropractic work to maintain alignment while the animal is casted and after, to return the animal to the optimum alignment possible. Please note that while the region of the animal is casted, there is muscle atrophy (deterioration) and this type of muscle is weaker until it is built back up. Movement using these weak muscles can cause misalignments and the misalignment needs to be corrected to allow the muscle to redevelop normally. The process of the muscles returning to normal development is called rehabilitation.