Open Reduction And Internal Fixation Of An Arm Fracture In Children

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of an arm fracture is surgery to fix a broken arm bone. This may include the humerus (upper arm bone), radius, or ulna (lower arm bones). Medical plates, screws, pins, or wires will be used to hold the bones in place while they heal.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

RISKS:

  • Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. He may be allergic to anesthesia medicine and have trouble breathing. His arm may become stiff, numb, or weak. The hardware in his arm may loosen and move out of place. His broken arm may not heal properly. He may not be able to move his arm the way he did before the injury. He may get compartment syndrome (increased pressure in his arm), which can damage muscles and tissue. Your child's broken arm may not grow as long as his other arm.

  • Without surgery, your child's arm may heal in a crooked position. He may have pain and trouble moving or using his arm. He may have numbness or damage to his blood vessels. Skin tissue near the fracture can die. He can get a severe infection.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your child's surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.

  • Anesthesia:

    • Regional anesthesia: This is medicine put into an IV in your child's injured arm. A pressure cuff is first put on his arm. After the cuff is tightened, the medicine is put into the IV. The cuff keeps the medicine in the arm or leg so your child will not have pain.

    • General anesthesia will keep your child asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your child's IV. He may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down his throat. The tube may cause your child to have a sore throat when he wakes up.

During your child's surgery:

An incision will be made on or around your child's arm fracture. Dead tissue and small pieces of bone will be removed and damaged muscles or tendons fixed. Caregivers will use plates, screws, pins, or wires to put the broken pieces back together. X-rays may be taken to see if the bones are in the correct position. The wound will be closed with stitches or staples and covered with bandages.

After your child's surgery:

Your child will be taken to a room to rest until he is fully awake. Caregivers will monitor him closely for any problems. Do not let your child get out of bed until his caregiver says it is okay. When caregivers see that your child is okay, he may be able to go home. If your child is staying in the hospital, he will be taken to his room.

  • Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.

  • Nausea medicine: This medicine is used to calm your child's stomach and prevent or control vomiting.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Open Reduction And Internal Fixation Of An Arm Fracture In Children (Inpatient Care)

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