Our bones can break in many different ways. Treatment depends on how bad the break is and where it is.
In a procedure called closed reduction, the surgeon puts the broken bone back into its natural position without surgery. A cast, brace and or splint holds the bone in place while it heals.
Open reduction and internal fixation is surgery that opens the skin and exposes the fracture. The orthopedic surgeon then realigns the bone and uses metal screws, rods, pins and plates to hold the bone in proper place. This type of procedure is often used for complicated fractures that can’t be treated with casting.
Another surgical option is open reduction and external fixation. Instead of using hardware inside the limb to hold the bone together, external fixation means that a metal frame on the outside of the limb holds the bone in the correct position while it heals.
A bone graft, also called a bone transplant, is sometimes used to help bones fully heal. These grafts can be from a different part of your body (called an autograft), a cadaver donor (called an allograft), or can be man-made from a variety of materials such as ceramic, plastic, glass or calcium compounds.