How do broken bones heal?

Your body is working hard to repair a broken bone from the moment an injury occurs. See more bodily feat pictures. Brown

If you experience engine trouble, you take your car to a mechanic. If your pipes leak, you call a plumber. And if you fracture a leg, the usual course of action is to visit a doctor. But unlike other things that may break in life, bones begin healing on their own before you even set foot in a waiting room.

The human body possesses amazing healing powers that enable it to bounce back from a vast array of illnesses and injuries. Sometimes broken bones can heal so thoroughly within a few months that even an x-ray can't determine the original fracture line.

Doctors often play a vital, sometimes lifesaving, role in a bone's healing process. But, these experts basically help the body heal itself. Doctors provide optimal conditions for bone repair and healing to take place. The rest is up to your cells.

But how does this amazing biological process work? How can a fractured limb grow back to its former strength? To understand, you first have to take a closer look at just what bones are made of and how alive they really are.