Skip to main content

Closed Reduction Internal Fixation of Leg Fracture in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What is a closed reduction internal fixation (CRIF) of a leg fracture?

A CRIF of the leg fracture is a surgery. Your child's healthcare provider moves the broken bones in your child's leg, ankle, or foot into correct position. He or she may be able to do this without an incision being made over the break. Pins and wires are used to hold the pieces of bone in place. Flexible and non-flexible rods and nails, and metal plates may also be used.

How do I prepare my child for a CRIF?

Your child's healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare your child for surgery. He or she may tell you to not let your child eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you what medicines your child should take or not take on the day of surgery.

What will happen during a CRIF?

  • Your child may be given general anesthesia to keep him or her asleep during the surgery. The anesthesia will also keep your child pain-free during the surgery. Your child may be given an antibiotic through the IV to decrease the risk for infection.
  • Your child's healthcare provider will use x-ray pictures to help him or her move the bones into the correct position. Once the bones are positioned correctly, pins and wires may be used to hold the bones in place. Instead, your child's healthcare provider may make an incision and place flexible nails or rods. He or she may need to place metal plates to hold the bones in place. The incision will be closed with stitches. Your child's healthcare provider will apply a splint or cast over your child's leg or foot. This will prevent movement and help the bones heal.

What will happen after a CRIF?

Your child will be monitored until he or she is fully awake. Your child may be taught how to use crutches. When the bone is healed, your child's healthcare provider may remove the pins, wires, and screws. Your child may need to participate in therapy. Physical and occupational therapies may help your child gain strength and keep complete range of motion in the affected leg. Your child may need to continue therapy after his or her break has healed.

What are the risks of a CRIF?

Your child may get an infection, or bleed more than expected. Your child's bone may not heal properly. The devices may cause irritation to your child's skin and tissues. Your child may need another surgery. Nerves, muscles, tendons, or blood vessels may be damaged during a CRIF. Your child may not have full range of motion of his or her leg.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2022 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 IBM Watson Health

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.