What is Fracture Repair?
This is surgery that is performed to fix a broken bone. It can require the use of pins, screws, plates, or nails, and it may also utilize bone grafts to expedite the healing process.
Why is it Done?
Often, a broken bone can be treated by realigning it at the fracture and then applying a cast so the bone stays in place during healing. However, in some cases, this may not work:
- The fracture is too complicated to realign
- The fracture involves joints
How to Prepare
Before the surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to discuss any concerns you have. If the procedure requires a bone graft, you will need to determine if the graft will come from one of your bones or from a donor. You will be given pre-operative instructions, such as how long to fast and what medications you may need to temporarily stop taking.
What to Expect
Depending on what bone is affected and how extensive the repair is, you will be under either local or general anesthesia. A surgeon will make an incision over the fracture. He or she will place the bone in its proper position and then secure it with pins, plates, nails, or screws. A bone graft will be needed if there is a gap between the ends of the broken bone.
After the surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days. Often, the internal devices (pins, plates, etc.) will not need to be removed. Full recovery will probably take between 6 and 12 weeks, and you will likely regain complete use of the bone that was fractured.