Screws, plates and rods- in the framework of orthopedics- are all forms of internal fixation. Internal fixation is a system of fracture care, the aim of which is to hold the broken ends of a bone together, so it can start to heal. Internal fixation is different from external fixation as in that the hardware utilized on the bone isn’t attached to a frame outside the skin. Internal fixation is also different from a cast as it needs surgery, whereas a cast doesn’t need surgery. Surgery requires the use of orthopedic instruments that can be accessible from orthopedic instrument manufacturers in India.
How Plates, Rods and Screws are Applied?
Internal fixation needs surgery. It is usually done at the same time as an open reduction- realigning the broken ends of a fractured bone surgically. After the broken ends of the fractured bones are aligned, the orthopedic surgeon will use screws, plates, rods or wires to hold them in its place whereas the bone knits itself back together.
Internal fixation is used when a bone can’t be set or reduced from outside of the skin. Cases where internal fixation is the best option are following:
- Fractures that have caused other wounds
- Fractures that would otherwise need long healing times, such as femoral head fractures
- that need surgery, such as damaged nerves or arteries
- Fractures that heal better with surgery, such as hip fractures
- Open fractures that have broken the skin, so the risk of infection is high, and the wound must be cleared of debris
- Fractures that extend to joint cartilage
Advantages & Disadvantages
Internal fixation has several advantages, such as:
- Quicker healing time
- Less chance of nonunion (the bone doesn’t heal)
- Less chance of malunion (the bone heals in the wrong posture)
- Shorter hospital stay
The primary disadvantage of internal fixation is the increased chance of infection in comparison of nonsurgical reduction and external fixation
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