EXTERNAL FIXATION APPLICATION
If you need an external fixation application, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What Is An External Fixation Application?
External fixation is a surgical technique used to stabilize and align fractured or damaged bones by using external devices called external fixators. These fixators are placed outside the body and connected to the bone through pins or wires. External fixation can be used for various purposes, including the management of complex fractures, limb lengthening procedures, and treatment of infected or non-healing fractures.
The application of external fixation involves the following steps:
- Evaluation: The patient undergoes a thorough evaluation, which may include X-rays, CT scans, or other imaging studies to assess the extent and nature of the bone injury or deformity.
- Anesthesia: The patient is usually given either general anesthesia (to put them to sleep) or regional anesthesia (to numb the specific area) before the surgery.
- Incisions: Small incisions are made near the site of the fractured or affected bone.
- Pin/Wire Insertion: Metal pins or wires are carefully inserted through the skin and into the bone on either side of the fracture or the bone segment that needs stabilization. These pins are usually fixed to the bone using clamps or bolts.
- Assembly of the External Fixator: The external fixator frame is assembled externally and is secured to the inserted pins or wires using adjustable rods and screws.
- Alignment and Stabilization: The surgeon adjusts the frame to align the fractured bones correctly and stabilize the bone segments. This helps promote healing and prevents further movement at the injury site.
- Post-Operative Care: After the external fixation device is in place, the incisions are closed, and the patient is closely monitored during the post-operative period. The patient may be provided with pain medications and antibiotics to prevent infections.
- Follow-Up: Regular follow-up visits with the surgeon are necessary to monitor the healing progress, adjust the external fixator if needed, and eventually remove the fixator once the bone has healed sufficiently.
External fixation offers several advantages, such as the ability to stabilize complex fractures, allow for early mobilization, and facilitate wound care in open fractures. However, it may also present some challenges, including pin site infections and discomfort due to the presence of external hardware.
The use of external fixation and the choice of a specific external fixator system depends on the type and severity of the injury or condition, as well as the patient’s overall health and lifestyle. It’s essential to have a detailed discussion with an orthopedic surgeon to understand the benefits, risks, and expected outcomes of external fixation in an individual’s particular case.