Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery
Reasons for Procedure
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Since broken bones are usually caused by
or an accident, an ORIF surgery is typically an emergency procedure. Before your surgery, you may have:
- Physical exam—to check your blood circulation and nerves affected by the broken bone
- X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan—imaging tests that take pictures of your broken bone and surrounding areas
- Blood tests
- Tetanus shot—depending on the type of fracture and if your immunization is not current
- Questions your doctor may ask include: How did you break your bone? How much pain do you feel? Do you take any blood-thinning medication?
- Questions you should ask include: Will I need rehabilitation after surgery? What will I need to assist in my recovery, such as a wheelchair or crutches?
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you about anesthesia for your surgery.
- If your surgery is urgent, you may not have time to fast beforehand; make sure to tell your doctor and the anesthesiologist when you last ate and drank.
- If your surgery is scheduled, you may be asked to stop taking medications, such as aspirin, blood thinners, or antiplatelets.
Description of Procedure
|Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery of the Ankle|
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- After surgery, you will be given nutrition through an IV until you are able to eat and drink.
- You will be asked to get out of bed and walk 2-3 times a day to prevent complications.
- You will begin physical therapy to learn how to move. You will also be shown exercises to regain muscle strength and range of motion.
- You will be asked to cough and breathe deeply to prevent pneumonia and atelectasis.
- Your affected limb will be elevated above your heart to decrease swelling.
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
- Change your dressing daily or as instructed by your doctor. If the dressing becomes wet or dirty, change it.
Once your dressing is removed, keep your incision dry and clean:
- Cleanse the incision site with lukewarm water and mild soap.
- Use a soft washcloth to gently wipe the incision area.
- Your doctor may recommend using an antibiotic ointment before applying a new dressing.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Check your affected limb often for sense of feeling.
- Get up and walk several times a day.
- Continue to do exercises prescribed by your physical therapist. Go to all physical therapy appointments.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain in the affected limb
- A lot of bleeding or any discharge from the incision site
- Loss of feeling in the affected limb
- Swelling or pain in the muscles around the broken bone
- Pain cannot be controlled with the medications you've been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation http://www.aapmr.org
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases http://www.niams.nih.gov
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Fractures (broken bones). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00139. Updated October 2012. Accessed September 10, 2013.
Total hip arthroplasty. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated July 22, 2013. Accessed September 10, 2013.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/24/2014 -