Trauma – Fracture Treatment

A fracture is a brake in continuity of a bone. A bone may be completely fractured or partially fractured.

Types
  • Simple fracture – Bones are fractured without involvement of skin
  • Compound fracture -The skin is pierced by the bone or by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of injury. The bone may or may not be visible in the wound.
  • Comminuted fracture – The bone shatters into three or more pieces.
Causes
  • Trauma. A fall, a motor vehicle accident, or while sporting activity.
  • Osteoporosis. It weakens the bones leading to fractures.
  • Overuse. Repetitive motion has more force on bone resulting in stress fractures. These are common in athletes.
Trauma-Fracture

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformity
  • Restricted joint movements

Diagnosis

  • X rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan

Treatment

  • Cast Immobilization – once the broken bones are aligned cast is applied for minimum of 8 weeks depending on the fracture union
  • Traction – is used to align the bones either in the form of skin or skeletal traction
  • External Fixation – pins are placed into the broken bone above and below the fracture site. These pins are connected to a metal bars outside the skin. It is applied when the skin and other soft tissues around the fracture are badly damaged, until definitive surgery is planned
  • Closed Reduction and Internal Fixation – Fractures are manipulated and aligned without opening the fracture site and fixing them with intramedullary nails, screws & wires
  • Open Reduction and Internal Fixation – Fractures are manipulated and aligned with opening the fracture site and fixing them with plates and screws, wires

Complications

  • Bleeding – mainly long bone and pelvic fractures leading to hypovolemic shock
  • Infection – mainly in compound fractures
  • Fat embolism – mainly in long bone fractures
  • Delayed union
  • Non-union
  • Malunion
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