ORIF / CRIF

Broken bones may require treatments that put the broken pieces back together and prevent the bones from moving out of place. The choice is open surgery or closed treatment, and depends on the severity of the break as well as other variables.

Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF)

It is a surgical procedure to repair a severe bone fracture with bone fragments that a not in acceptable alignment. Open reduction is setting the bone, with open surgery to realign the bone into the normal position, and to prevent deformity. Once the bones are in place, they will be held together with special implants made of stainless steel and titanium. Implants include wires, rods, screws and plates to stabilize the fracture. Internal fixation reduces the risk of improper healing and can allow for earlier range of motion therapy which can potentially help the patient recover faster.

When is it indicated?

ORIF is for serious fractures where the bone is significantly displaced or articular joint surfaces are disrupted. It is also indicated where the bone would not heal correctly without surgery, or where closed reduction has failed.

The procedure will be done in a hospital under general anesthesia. You will be splinted and/or casted for certain length of time following the procedure.

Closed Reduction and Internal Fixation (CRIF)

It is the reduction or setting of the fracture without surgery. There are no incisions. Here the surgeon manipulates the fracture into correct alignment with the use of traction. Once this is done, a splint or cast is applied to hold the reduction. X-ray is taken to verify that he bone is in acceptable alignment. If the fracture remains unstable and does not stay in acceptable alignment, surgical intervention may be needed.

When is it indicated?

Closed reduction is indicated when the orthopedic surgeon can manipulate the bones into alignment without surgery.

The procedure is usually done under regional anesthetic which means that numbing medication is used to numb the affected limb so the procedure can be done while the patient is awake.

The risks of surgery are avoided if closed reduction can be used as the form of treatment.

Risks and Complications

Risks of all reductions include failure to achieve bone setting, nerve and muscle damage, and blood clots. Potential complications include infection, stiffness, reduced range of motion, soft tissue damage, nerve damage, arthritis, chronic pain associated with the implants.

Orthopaedic Specialists of North County has been serving the residents of San Diego County, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Solana Beach California for over 40 years. Life is motion, and we welcome the opportunity to serve your needs with compassionate care and skill using the most advanced technology and treatments available.


"The entire team at OSNC is great, very professional and took the time to put me at ease. And I only have praise for the Dr. Erik Stark, a wonderful doctor who never disappoints!" Patient of Dr. Erik Stark
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