(Setting a Fracture)
by Editorial Staff And Contributors
This procedure is done to return a broken bone to its proper alignment. A closed fracture reduction involves setting the bone without cutting into the skin.
Reasons for Procedure
Fracture reduction is done for the following reasons:
Possible Complications TOP
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:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will likely do the following:
Leading up to the procedure:
Your doctor will usually give you local anesthesia to numb the area; it is given as an injection. You may also be given a sedative.
In some cases, general anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep during the procedure if this is the case.
Description of the Procedure
The bone fragments will be manipulated into their normal position. The doctor will apply traction and use a cast or splint to hold the bones in place. No incisions are needed.
Immediately After Procedure
The doctor will order another x-ray to ensure the bone is in the correct position.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on the type and location of the fracture.
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have some pain after the procedure. Ask your doctor about medicine to help with the pain.
Average Hospital Stay
You will usually be able to go home after the procedure.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Small bones usually heal in 3-6 weeks. Long bones will take more time. Your doctor may have you work with a physical therapist. He can help you to regain normal function. In some cases, you may be able to return to daily activities within a few days while wearing the cast or splint.
Call Your Doctor TOP
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopedic Society
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaos.org/ . Accessed September 2, 2009.
Setting a broken bone without surgery (closed reduction). University of Michigan Health System website. Available at: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/aha_clored_crs.htm . Updated January 2008. Accessed September 2, 2009.
¹10/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Gosselin RA, Roberts I, Gillespie WJ. Antibiotics for preventing infection in open limb fractures. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2009;(4):CD003764.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Igor Puzanov, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012