Double-jointedness, or joint hyper-mobility, is a medical condition that affects around 3% of the U.S. population. While hyper-mobility may not be something that doctors currently understand, it results from a mixture of genetic makeup and physical training. People who suffer from hyper-mobility have an increased likeliness of enduring broken bones and painful injuries.
Hyper-mobility causes the collagen in ligaments and joints to be much more flexible than they should be. Hyper-mobility causes a patient to have double the range of movement that human bodies are designed to have. This joint mobility weakens the body, which creates joint pain and causes dislocations, stress fractures, and broken bones
due to their brittleness.
The key to treating broken bones in people that're double jointed is to stay fit and strong ahead of time. Strong muscles around ligaments and broken bones help them to stay within their range of mobility better and therefore heal faster. If a bone does break, the treatment can be quite simple. Casts and special molds called orthotics can be created to keep the bone still and correct the fracture. The bone will heal itself in about six weeks with a proper cast and treating the affected area with caution.
Additional splints, mobility aids, and supports may be used when a cast comes off. Braces are commonly used to support bones and ligaments and to keep them from becoming further damaged.
If a broken bone occurs somewhere in the body that is also double jointed, it's most important to keep that area within a small range of motion so it is able to properly heal. Straining this area further could cause more damage and result in a longer recovery time. If a double jointed wrist, for example, is broken, keep it in a cast for six weeks and when it comes out, keep it wrapped tightly to maintain a small range of motion for the ligaments to completely heal.