Chronic health problems, such as diabetes or obesity
The use of certain medicines
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
This is often as an emergency procedure. Before your surgery:
Tell your doctor what you last ate and drank.
Tell the doctor about the medicines and supplements you take.
Instructions will be given if the surgery is planned. Before surgery:
Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
Arrange for help at home.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Local or general anesthesia may be used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. A sedative may also be given. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
An incision will be made in the skin above the break. The pieces of bone will be moved into the right place. Screws, a plate with screws, or a rod may be used inside the body or an external frame fixed to the bone fragments may be used outside the body to hold the bones in place. The incision will be closed with stitches and covered with bandages. The area will be protected with a splint or cast.
An x-ray will be done to make sure the bone is in the right place.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on the type and location of the broken bone.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during the procedure. Pain after the procedure can be managed with medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
Most people are able to go home the same day. People who have problems may need to stay longer.
During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding others to do the same
Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
Not letting other people touch your incisions
It can take three to six weeks for a mild fracture to heal. It may take many months for a severe fracture of a long bone to heal. Exercises to help with muscle strength and range of motion will be needed.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
Pain that does not get better with medicine
Redness, swelling, more pain, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
Numbness or tingling at the injury site
Problems moving the fingers or toes of an injured arm or leg
A cast that feels too tight
Burning or stinging under a cast
Red skin around a cast
Itching under a cast that does not go away
Cracks or soft spots in a cast
Chalky white, blue, or black skin color in the fingers, toes, arm, or leg
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
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