This procedure is done to return a broken bone to its proper alignment. There are two types:
- Open reduction—This method is used if the bone is fragmented or difficult to repair, requiring screws, pins, rods, or a plate to hold it in place. The doctor makes a cut in the skin covering the break to expose the bone fragments. The bone fragments are moved into their normal position, and screws, pins, rods, or plates may be used to hold the realigned bones in place. Extremely severe fractures may require placement of a natural or artificial bone graft.
- Closed reduction—The doctor manipulates the bone fragments into their normal position and applies a cast or splint to hold them in place. There is no incision.
After the procedure, the doctor can immobilize the bone using a cast, splint, or brace, and may order another x-ray to ensure the bone is in the correct position.
Most bones require about six weeks to heal, but some bones take longer. Working with your healthcare provider and physical therapist to develop a specific activity and rehabilitation program can speed your recovery and protect you from future fractures.