Have you recently encountered a fall or accident and are dealing with a wrist fracture? ORIF wrist surgery might be the procedure you have been looking for. ORIF, or open reduction internal fixation, is a long-term solution to pain and injury. South Shore Orthopedics is the place for you if you are looking for an orthopedic professional to trust with this procedure. Our experienced team can ensure we meet your specific case’s needs to improve your health journey.  

What is ORIF?

An ORIF wrist surgery is an open reduction of internal fixation. According to Healthline, an “open reduction” refers to the surgeon making an incision to re-align the bone. On the other hand, the “internal fixation” refers to the bones being held together with hardware. 

This procedure is used to combat the pain and injury to your wrist caused by a severe fracture. Commonly, it is an emergency procedure as a result of an injury. It uses materials like screws or plates to bring together the bone if it is broken into pieces. It is a procedure that requires an orthopedic surgeon to complete, especially one that specializes in treating bone and joint-specific issues. 

Who gets ORIF wrist surgery? 

This surgery is for people who experience severe fractures. It is commonly recommended to patients with breaks in multiple locations, movement out of position, and bone sticking out through the skin. 

What does the surgery entail? 

This surgery is often done for arms and leg fractures, this includes areas such as the shoulder, elbow, and even the ankle. The scheduling of an ORIF surgery depends on the severity of the situation. It is either scheduled beforehand or completed in an emergency situation. Before the surgery, your doctor will complete the necessary testing, such as blood work and MRIs if necessary. 

It is a two-part procedure. You will start by being put under anesthesia, so there is no pain. The first part of the surgery is the reduction aspect, where the bone is moved back to the necessary position. The second part is the internal fixation, where the doctor will attach the necessary hardware to hold the bone together. Your doctor will make the call on the hardware depending on the position and type of fracture. 

What are the risks? 

As is the case for any surgery, there are risks that are important to note beforehand about ORIF wrist surgery. While these are not common, they can create further issues for the patient. Complications that can present themselves during an ORIF wrist surgery procedure are bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, nerve damage, further surgery if the bone does not heal correctly, and clots that break off and end up in the lungs.   

What is the recovery like? 

The recovery time for this procedure is anywhere between 3 and 12 months. This is very dependent on the patient and the severity of the fracture. Even as the bone begins to heal, it may require physical or occupational therapy to completely resolve the issue. The doctor will continue to monitor your condition and decide if anything has to change. 

While this recovery is ongoing, you can help yourself by taking pain medication, making sure the incision stays clean, keeping the limb elevated, avoiding applying pressure, and going to the appointments that your doctor asks of you. 

ORIF wrist surgery is a great solution to fractures in bones throughout the body. Orthopedic surgeons specializing in this area are great options for finding the solution you need. Are you suffering from a fracture? Schedule a consultation at South Shore Orthopedics to find out if ORIF wrist surgery is right for you. Check out our website or give us a call at (781) 337-5555 for more information.