(Setting a Fracture)
by Editorial Staff And Contributors
A closed fracture reduction is resetting a broken bone without cutting into the skin.
Reasons for Procedure
A closed reduction is done to realign pieces of a broken bone. It is done to:
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:
The closed reduction may not be successful. Surgery may be needed to properly align the bones.
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 may do the following:
Leading up to the procedure:
Your doctor will usually give you local anesthesia to numb the area. 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 moved into their normal position. Traction will be applied and a cast or splint will be used to hold the bones in place. No incisions are needed.
Immediately After Procedure
Another x-ray will be ordered to make sure 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 medication 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. A physical therapist 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 for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Broken bones. Nemours' KidsHealth.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/aches/b_bone.html . Updated October 2012. Accessed August 26, 2013.
Setting broken bones. Cedars-Sinai website. Available at: http://www.cedars-... . Accessed August 26, 2013.
10/30/2009 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 September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013