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ORIF of a Leg Fracture in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of a leg fracture?

ORIF of a leg fracture is surgery to repair your child's broken leg. Open reduction means the bones will be moved back into the correct position. Internal fixation means hardware (such as rods or pins) is used to hold the broken bones together while they heal.

Internal Fixation Device

How do I prepare my child for ORIF?

What will happen during ORIF?

What should my child expect after ORIF?

Your child will be taken to a room where he or she can rest until fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor him or her closely. When they see that your child is okay, they will take him or her to a hospital room. Your child may be sleepy and have pain after surgery. Do not let your child get out of bed until healthcare providers say it is okay. Leave your child's bandages on until his healthcare provider removes them.

What are the risks of ORIF for a leg fracture?

Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, or muscles in your child's leg may be damaged. His or her leg, foot, or toes may become stiff, swollen, painful, numb, or weak. Even with surgery, your child's broken leg may not heal as expected. His or her leg movements may not be the same as they were before. Your child may have trouble going back to his or her usual activities, including sports.

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.

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Further information

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