Doan Nguyen, MD
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon
Trauma Orthopaedic Specialist

Call 281.807.5432
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Fracture Treatment

A fracture is a break in the bone that can occur from either a quick, one-time injury to the bone (acute fracture) or from repeated stress to the bone over time (stress fracture).

When the bone is broken or injured, it will irritate nerve endings surrounding the bone and result in pain. A break in the bone often accompanies with  bleeding, which leads to swelling. Furthermore, muscles around the area try to hold the bone in place and cause spasm.

Fractures can occur in all ages. In an elderly who have weaker bones, fractures are often results of falling . In younger patients with stronger bones, more common causes of fractures include high-impact injuries such as automobile accidents, sports accidents, or work-related accidents.

Treatment

Treatments depend on the severity of the fracture and the overall health of the patient. Dr. Nguyen will choose the best option for your situation. Surgery will only be suggested when there is a clear advantage compared to other options.

Immobilization

Bone fractures are typically treated by restoring the fractured pieces to their natural positions and maintaining those positions while the bone heals.

Most fractures can be treated by immobilizing with a cast or a splint. For example, after Dr. Nguyen aligns the bones, a moon boot is used to hold them in position and to immobilize the joints above and below the fracture. Some low impact rib fracture will heal without the need for casting or surgical.

Smaller bones, such as phalanges of the toes and fingers, may be treated without the cast, buddy tape can be used to immobilize, which serves a similar function to a cast.

Surgery

For fractures that are highly unstable, the doctor will manipulate the injured area. More specifically, surgical insertion of pins, plates, or screws will be implemented to keep an affected bone in place. This procedure is often necessary in severe comminuted fractures with significant displacement and the bone is badly splintered. Surgery also removes bone fragments that might turn into dead bone tissue and impede the healing process. Irrigation or cleansing of the wounded area is also carried out at the time of surgery. When fractures are left untreated, they could result in severe infection, which leads to amputation.

Patients with ligament or tendon tears also need surgery for ligament reconstruction or tendon repair. Without surgery, patient will not be able to function as before the injury.

Hip Fractures:

A hip fracture is a fracture in the proximal end of the femur (the long bone running through the thigh), near the hip joint. Osteoporosis, a condition where bones lose their calcium content, can increase the risk of hip fracture because it makes the bone more susceptible to breaking.

Treatment:

Treatment of a hip fracture almost always requires surgery. In cases pertaining to stress fractures of the hip, or in patients who have severe medical problems that prevent surgical treatment, non-operative treatment may be recommended. There are several types of hip-fracture repair surgeries available; the one used depends on the age of the patient, the exact location of the fracture, and the severity of the fracture.

Internal fixation involves an insertion of metal screws that fit on the inside of broken parts of bone, to hold them together or a plate that fit outside of the bone. This method is only used if the bone can be realigned properly after the fracture. This repair can be stressful for older patients, who would require a longer recovery period. Hip replacement is usually the better, less painful option.
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