Closed Reduction-Internal Fixation

What is it and how is it performed?

At OrthoNeuro, our orthopedic surgeons perform many procedures to restore the function of your hands. One of those procedures is closed reduction internal fixation (CRIF).

It is a surgical treatment to fix severely broken bones and is performed by an orthopedic surgeon. The procedure is used when a cast or splint is not sufficient for the fracture to heal properly. 

The fractures are usually displaced, or in other words, out of their normal anatomical position. Therefore, the procedure works best when it is done soon after the bone breaks.

What Is a Closed Reduction Procedure?

When the surgeon performs a closed reduction procedure, it means they don’t need to make an incision in the skin to realign the bone. Instead, they realign the bone through manipulation. 

Internal fixation refers to the method that the surgeon holds the bones in place. Once the fractured bones are aligned, they are held together with K-wires or metal pins until the bone heals.

What Is the Difference Between an Open and Closed Reduction of a Fracture?

The differences between an open and closed reduction of a fracture are as follows:

Open Reduction

  • The fracture site is opened through surgery, and the broken bone is set in the proper anatomical position.
  • A skin incision is necessary for internal fixation.
  • Faster recovery time as fractures are held together.

Closed Reduction 

  • The fracture site is not opened, instead, the fracture is reset through manipulation.
  • A skin incision is not necessary. 
  • The healing process is slower as the bones are not held together firmly.  

What Is the Procedure?

Resetting a bone can be very painful, so the first step is to provide pain medicine. You may be given local anesthesia to block the pain. 

You may also be offered a sedative if you are very nervous about the procedure. This will put you in a relaxed state. In some cases, general anesthesia will be used to put you to sleep throughout the procedure.

Once the medicine has taken effect, your healthcare provider will reset the bone into the proper alignment. Then using K-wire or metal pins, the surgeon will fix the bones in the correct position. An x-ray will be taken to confirm this.

Finally, a cast or splint will be used to keep the bone in the right position and protect it while it heals.

What to Expect Following the Procedure?

After the procedure, you will be monitored by the nurses and doctors. They will measure your blood pressure, breathing, and pulse. They will also check to make sure the nerves have not been affected during the resetting of the broken bone.

If the procedure was performed for a fracture in the hand, wrist, or arm, then you will likely return home on the same day.

You may use over-the-counter medicines for a few days following the procedure to relieve any pain.

What Are the Benefits?

The closed reduction and internal fixation method have many advantages when fixing displaced fractures. Consider the following benefits:

  • The operative time is relatively short.
  • Soft tissue is not affected as much because there is no need for incisions.
  • Tension on the skin is reduced as well as swelling.
  • Maintenance of bone healing potential.
  • Decreased postoperative pain and swelling.
  • Increases the chances that you will return to normal function.
  • Your bones will heal quicker.
  • Your bone will be strong once it has healed.
  • The possibility of infection is low.

You use your hands, wrists, and elbows all the time. Don’t let pain interfere with your quality of life or independence. Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online if you have persistent pain in your hand, wrist, or elbow that limits your movement or independence.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today! 

  • If you want to restore function to your hand after a severe fracture, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Hand and Wrist Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 
  • We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you. 
  • Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Meet Our Elbow Specialists

Desmond J. Stutzman, DO

Orthopedic Hand & Elbow Surgeon

James C. Cassandra, DO

Orthopedic Hand and Elbow Surgeon

Gary M. Millard, DO

Orthopedic Hand & Elbow Surgeon

Scott P. Stephens. MD

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

Benjamin W. Szerlip, DO

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

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