Closed reduction (Fracture reduction – closed) is a procedure to set (decrease) a damaged bone without surgery. This enables the bone to grow back together. It works best when it is done as soon as possible after the bone breaks. A closed reduction can be done by an orthopedic surgeon (bone doctor) or a primary care provider who has experience doing this procedure.
What are the Benefits of a Closed Reduction?
A closed reduction can:
- Assist your bone heal rapidly and be strong when it recovers
- Reduction pain
- Improve the opportunities that your limb will look normal and you will have the ability to use it usually when it heals
- Lower the risk of an infection in the bone
Possible Risks During a Closed Reduction Procedure
Your health care provider will talk with you about the possible risks of a closed reduction. Some are:
- The nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues near your bone may be injured.
- An embolism might form, and it could travel to your lungs or another part of your body.
- You might have an allergic reaction to the pain medication you receive.
- There may be new fractures that accompany the reduction.
- If the reduction does not work, you will require surgery.
Your risk of any of these problems is greater if you:
- Take steroids (such as cortisone), contraceptive pill, or other hormonal agents (such as insulin).
- Are older.
- Have other health conditions such as diabetes and hypothyroidism.
How Does Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery Feel Like?
The procedure is often painful. You will get medicine to obstruct the pain during the procedure. You might get:
- A local anesthetic or nerve block to numb the area (generally provided as a shot).
- A sedative to make you unwinded but not sleeping (generally provided through an IV, or intravenous line).
- General anesthesia to make you sleep during the procedure.
- After you receive pain medicine, your provider will set the bone in the right position by pressing or pulling the bone. This is called traction.
After the bone is set:
- You will have an x-ray to make sure the bone remains in the right position.
- A cast or splint will be placed on your limb to keep the bone in the right position and secure it while it recovers.
After Your Procedure
If you do not have other injuries or problems, you will be able to go home a few hours after the procedure.
Until your provider encourages, DO NOT:
- Place rings on your fingers or toes over your injured arm or leg.
- Bear weight on the hurt leg or arm.