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Fracture Reduction—Open
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Fracture Reduction—Open?

This procedure is done to return a broken bone to its proper alignment. An open fracture reduction involves cutting through the skin to realign the bones. It is used if the bone is in many pieces or is difficult to reduce. Screws and a plate may be needed to hold the fragments in place.

Fracture reduction is done for the following reasons:

  • So that the bone can heal properly and more quickly
  • To decrease pain and prevent later deformity
  • To regain use of the bone and limb

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a fracture reduction, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Fat particles from the bone marrow or blood clots from veins that may dislodge and travel to the lungs
  • Need for additional surgery if the bone does not heal properly
  • Reaction to anesthesia

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Advanced age
  • Pre-existing medical condition
  • An open fracture (broken bone is sticking out of skin)
  • Diabetes
  • Use of steroid medicine
  • Smoking

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

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