Bone Fracture Repair
Alternate Names : Bone Fracture Reduction
A broken bone is called a fracture. There are many types of treatments to repair, or reduce, a fracture. The treatment depends upon the type and severity of the fracture, and the bones involved. The goal is to eliminate any deformity of the bone and to maximize its function. There are two types of repair, open and closed.
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
Anyone who has a broken bone may be a candidate for fracture repair.
If the bone has just a minor crack, no repair may be needed. A cast or splint may be placed over the skin covering the broken bone. The body is then allowed to repair the fracture on its own. If the bone is cracked completely but the pieces are not quite in the right place, a closed repair is usually done.
An open repair is done for more serious fractures, which include the following:
broken bones that are visible or that stick out through the skin
fractures in which the two ends of the broken bone can't be lined up correctly
fractures that extend into a joint
Open repair may also be used on old fractures that are not healing properly.
How is the procedure performed?
In a closed repair, the healthcare provider pulls on the injured bone. This helps get the bone pieces back into their proper position. A splint or cast is then applied to prevent movement of the injured bone.
An open repair, or reduction, is a surgery done in the operating room. First, medicine is given to relax the person. General anesthesia may be used to put the person to sleep. The skin over the broken bone is then cleaned and shaved. The skin is cut open and the bone is exposed. The bone surgeon, or orthopedist, uses a variety of tools to repair the fracture and hold it in place. These tools may include surgical nails, screws, wires, rods, and metal plates. After the bone pieces are back in the proper place, the cut in the skin is closed with staples or stitches. Next a cast is applied.