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ORIF of a Wrist Fracture


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

ORIF of a wrist fracture is surgery to fix a broken wrist. Medical plates, screws, pins, or wires will be used to hold the bones in place while they heal.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during surgery?

General anesthesia or a nerve block will be used to keep you free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make one or more incisions on your wrist. He will use medical plates, screws, pins, or wires to hold the broken bones together. A bone graft may be placed in or around the fracture to strengthen your wrist. X-rays may be taken during surgery to make sure the broken bone is set properly. X-rays also show if the pins, plates, and screws are placed correctly. Your surgeon will close your incision with stitches or staples. A splint will be placed over your wrist to keep the bones in place while they heal.

What are the risks of surgery?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your tendons and nerves may get injured during or after surgery. Your broken wrist may not heal properly. You may continue to have wrist pain.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.