Open reduction with internal fixation is a type of surgery to fix a broken (fractured) bone. The doctor makes a cut, called an incision, in the skin over the bone. The doctor then moves the pieces of bone back into the normal position. This is called open reduction. The doctor may use special screws, pins, plates, or rods to hold the bone in place while it heals. This is called internal fixation. These devices may stay in your body from now on. The doctor closes the incision with stitches. You will have a scar, but it will fade with time.
You may spend from a few hours to a few days in the hospital. This depends on how serious your injury is. It usually takes 6 to 12 weeks for a broken bone to heal.
How soon you can go back to work and your normal routine depends on your job. It also depends on how long it takes your bone to heal. For example, if you have a broken leg and you sit at work, you may be able to go back in 1 to 2 weeks. But if your job requires you to walk or stand a lot, you may need to wait until your bone has healed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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