Fractures, or broken bones, are one the most common problems seen and treated by orthopedic doctors. Every year, about 6.8 million Americans experience a fracture. The most common are hip fractures (mainly among the elderly), ankle fractures, and fractures of the long bones in the lower and upper legs.
There are different types of fractures ranging from small, hairline stress fractures to open fractures, where part of the bone sticks out of the skin.
While a large number of fractures may heal with casting or other type of immobilization, many other fractures will require surgery. Bone fracture surgical repair is performed when a broken bone can’t heal properly with casting, splinting or bracing alone.
The most common type of fracture surgery involves internal fixation, where broken pieces of bone are placed back in the right position using surgical screws, pins, rods, or plates. It is most often used in fractures of the ankle, forearm and leg bones.
Fractures Requiring Surgery
There are many types of fractures that may require surgery in order to heal properly. Some of the most common include:
Femur (Thighbone) Fracture
A broken femur – or thighbone – fracture is quite common. Internal fixation surgery is required to help fix a fractured femur. A surgical rod is most often used to help set and support the bone until it heals. An orthopedic surgeon may also surgically add a plate to reinforce the rod. The full name of this surgery is open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of the femur.
When the ball portion of the upper arm is broken, crushed, or split, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to repair or replace the shoulder joint. Shoulder joint replacement surgery may sometimes include repair of muscles and tendons in the area if damaged at the time of injury.
There are three main procedures used to repair a hip fracture:
- Hip Repair: Hip repair means stabilizing broken bones with surgical screws, rods, plates or nails. Doctors refer to this surgery as “hip pinning.”
- Partial Hip Replacement Surgery: This procedure replaces the head of the thigh bone (the “ball” of the hip joint) with artificial parts. A partial hip replacement does not replace the “socket” portion of the hip joint.
- Total Hip Replacement Surgery: This surgery replaces the entire joint, including the “socket” portion of the pelvis, with a prosthesis.
At Orthopaedic Associates, we strive to meet the highest standards of orthopedic science. If you or a loved one is suffering pain following an injury, you need a capable, board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. Learn about your options from an expert. The staff at Orthopaedic Associates takes advantage of cutting-edge therapies and traditional treatments to manage or cure a variety of painful conditions. Please call us today to schedule and appointment or consultation at (440) 892-1440.