Construction worker may have a broken bone

“If you can move it, it’s not broken” and four other orthopedic myths


August 30, 2022 • General Ortho


If you have a musculoskeletal injury of some sort, unless you’re talking to an orthopedic specialist, you may want to take what people tell you with a grain of salt. Here are five myths you might hear from friends, relatives, or coworkers that need to be busted once and for all.


If you can move it, then it’s not broken. This myth is an old one, and somehow still popular. It is entirely possible to have a fractured bone and still be able to move the affected body part. If you’re questioning whether you have a broken bone, don’t hesitate to seek medical treatment.


After arthroscopic surgery, you’ll never compete at the same level. You will definitely need some time for healing, therapy, and conditioning, but you actually stand a very good chance at returning to the same level of play. Getting back to full-throttle on the court or field depends on several factors such as the type of injury, the surgery itself, the type of sport, and how well you stick to your post-operative therapy plan. Generally speaking, recovery can range from 6 to 20 weeks.


You’re too young for a joint replacement. There is no “right” stage of life for a joint replacement. Age is just one variable among several other important considerations when evaluating the need.


You’ve got osteoarthritis, you’re just going to make it worse by exercising. We understand how this has become a common misperception. After all, it sounds logical that if your joint is damaged, the stress of exercise will cause even more damage, right? Actually, the lack of exercise can cause your joints to become even more stiff and painful. A physical therapist is a great resource for the types of exercises and activities you can enjoy, even with osteoarthritis.


Sorry to hear you have a herniated disc. When is your surgery? A herniated disc, also called ruptured or slipped disc, may sound serious, and may trigger serious pain, but it’s not a condition that typically requires surgery. In fact, about 90% of the people who seek treatment for a herniated disc do not require surgery. There are many effective non-operative treatment options.


Learn more:


AAOS: Fractures (Broken Bones)

Harvard: Am I too young for a knee replacement?

Cleveland Clinic: Are You ‘Too Young’ for Hip Replacement Surgery?

Blue Ridge Ortho: Motion is lotion: Exercise tips for people with arthritis

Harvard: Exercise: Rx for overcoming osteoarthritis

Mayo Clinic: Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness

Harvard: Will my herniated disc heal on its own?

Cleveland Clinic: Herniated Disk (Slipped, Ruptured or Bulging Disk)

AAOS: Herniated Disk in the Lower Back

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The information on this page is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations.

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