Fractures of bones can be classified in a number of ways. The method of treatment varies depending on the nature of the injury and patient medical condition. The three main treatment options for bone fractures are:
- Open reduction and internal fixation involves a surgery to repair the fracture. Frequently, metal rods, screws or plates are used to repair the bone and remain in place, under the skin, after the surgery. This procedure is recommended for complicated fractures not able to be realigned (reduced) by casting, or in cases in which the long-term use of a cast is undesirable.
- Open reduction and external fixation involves a surgery to repair the fracture and placement of an external fixation device on the limb with the fracture. This device is an external frame which supports the bone to hold it in the correct position while it is healing. This technique is generally applied to complex fractures that cannot be repaired using open reduction and internal fixation.