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Internal Fixation Devices and Open Reduction Fractures

Patients suffering broken bones and bone fractures in Michigan car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, and other traumas often require a medical device called an internal fixation device to help with stabilize the bone and assist in the healing process.  Internal fixation devices include plates, screws, rods, and wire.  Most internal fixation procedures involve a combination of these devices.

An internal fixation is an orthopedic device which is used by orthopedic surgeons to treat complex, unstable fractures of both the upper and lower extremities. It is perhaps most frequently used in fractures around or involving a joint in an effort to restore the joint. The internal fixation, used for a wrist (or distal radius) is the most common application nationally.     If the wrist is shattered, for example, in a fall and the wrist is impacted, the application of an internal fixator device can frequently treat the fracture far more effectively than a cast alone. Fixation devices have not replaced casts by any means, but are necessary when the broken bone may shift and change position in a cast. A fixator can hold the bone fragments much more rigidly than a cast and was, in fact, invented prior to the first plaster cast!    

Fixation devices require an operation to insert devices, such as plates, screws, rods, and wires within the body at the site of the fracture to provide fracture stability.  A hard plaster or fiberglass cast is often used in addition to the internal fixation device to provide additional support to insure proper fracture alignment. The type of internal fixation device used and the ultimate stability of the fracture or joint space will determine whether or not the internal fixation devices will be removed in a subsequent surgical procedure or left in place. 

On occasion, surgery can be performed to remove easily accessed devices such as pins and screws.  Larger items, such as plates, usually require in-patient surgery under general anesthesia.  Ongoing x-ray examinations of the fracture site and internal fixation devices is a common practice to insure property alignment of bones, fixation devices, and proper healing process.

If you were injured in an accident, you should contact our firm immediately.

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