Is it OK to take ibuprofen if you have a broken bone?

It’s not a great idea. Ibuprofen – and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – can impede healing.

“Smoking and NSAIDs are probably the most important causes of failure in bone healing,” says Dr. Malcolm Smith, chief of the Orthopedic Trauma Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. In fact, he said, with a patient who has had surgery to remove bone, “we give them NSAIDs to make sure the bone doesn’t grow back.”