(Setting a Fracture)
by Editorial Staff And Contributors
A closed fracture reduction is resetting a broken bone without cutting into the skin.
Reasons for Procedure
A closed reduction is done to realign pieces of a broken bone. It is done to:
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. Complications of a fracture reduction may include:
The closed reduction may not be successful. Surgery may be needed to properly align the bones.
Before the procedure, talk to the doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase the risk of complications such as:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Leading up to the procedure:
Your doctor will usually give you local anesthesia to numb the area. You may also be given a sedative.
In some cases, general anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep during the procedure if this is the case.
Description of the Procedure
The bone fragments will be moved into their normal position. Traction will be applied and a cast or splint will be used to hold the bones in place. No incisions are needed.
Immediately After Procedure
Another x-ray will be ordered to make sure the bone is in the correct position.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on the type and location of the fracture.
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have some pain after the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help with the pain.
Average Hospital Stay
You will usually be able to go home after the procedure.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
Small bones usually heal in 3-6 weeks. Long bones will take more time. Your doctor may have you work with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can help you to regain normal function.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Broken bones. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at:
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Updated August 2015. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Setting broken bones. Cedars-Sinai website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 30, 2017.
10/30/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed... : Gosselin RA, Roberts I, Gillespie WJ. Antibiotics for preventing infection in open limb fractures. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD003764.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 9/25/2014
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