Our firm recently had several clients who have been involved in serious motor vehicle accidents and have had major bone breaks that required open reduction internal fixation surgery (ORIF). This type of surgery is only performed on serious fractures that cannot be treated by being put in a cast or placed in a splint.
The two general types of bone fracture
There are two general types of fractures that require medical treatment: one is a closed reduction injury which typically is treated either by placing a cast, brace, or splint around the affected bone that does not require some type of surgical intervention; or open reduction internal fixation surgery which does require surgical intervention.
Steps involved in ORIF surgery
An open reduction internal fixation surgical procedure requires several steps to complete the process after the anesthesiologist has properly prepared you for the surgery.
The first surgical step is the open reduction, which means a surgeon makes an incision in the patient’s body to allow for the exposure of the broken bone that needs to be repaired.
The second step is the internal fixation step of the surgical procedure where the surgeon installs hardware like rods, screws, pins, or plates to hold the bone that has been badly fractured or broken together.
The third main step in the process is for the surgeon to close up the wound site after the implantation of the surgical hardware.
Significant or complicated breaks are ORIF contenders
A surgeon may want to consider open reduction internal fixation surgery where there is a significant or complicated break in the patient’s bone(s) that may result in the bone being broken in multiple places, if it is shifted out of position, if it is sticking out of the patient’s skin or if there are other medical challenges that require this type of surgical intervention.
Have your doctor educate you on your options
You should make sure that you have an extended conversation with your surgeon if it is suggested that you undergo open reduction internal fixation surgery. There are many issues that could cause complications when having this type of surgery which could include your physical condition, pre-existing or current medical challenges, your age, and the severity or location of the fracture. You will also want to make sure that you understand all of the options so you can make an informed decision as to how you would like to proceed.
You might need explant surgery
There are also certain situations where you might need to have a second surgery to explant or removed the surgical hardware that has been placed in your body due to complications that may result from the first surgery. You will also want to make sure that you discuss with your surgeon the likelihood that you might have to undergo a second surgery, what the risks are, and what you can do to make sure that you increase your chances of obtaining the best possible result.
How much time you will need to recuperate
You will also want to fully understand your expected recuperative period, when you might be able to return to normal everyday activities, what type of rehabilitative care, how long you might need this type of care and treatment, as well as any and all other information which could help you to better understand what you might be looking at in the future. You want to be as fully informed as possible so that you know the different types of outcomes that you may experience.
Contact an experienced injury lawyer ASAP
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in an accident and requires open reduction internal fixation surgery please feel free to contact our experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyers as we have dealt with many cases involving this type of surgical procedure as well as explant surgeries where the surgical hardware has been removed. There is no cost or obligation to get this valuable free information so please contact us at the earliest possible convenience.