This open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery uses screws and a metal implant to stabilize a fracture in the radius near the wrist. The radius is the larger of the two forearm bones.
The patient’s arm is positioned with the palm facing up, for optimal surgical access. The area is cleaned, sterilized, and given local anesthesia. Usually the patient is not put to sleep.
Accessing the Fracture
The physician cuts an incision along the forearm to access the region of the radius that is fractured. The broken bones are identified, examined, and carefully realigned.
Stabilizing the Radius
A metal plate designed to fit the contours of the radius is inserted and positioned against the bone. Screws are used to anchor the plate to the bone on both sides of the fracture, stabilizing the radius and keeping the bone in proper alignment.
End of Procedure and Aftercare
The incision is stitched closed. The arm is bandaged and splint immobilized and the patient goes home the same day. Once the swelling from the surgery subsides, the patient may be placed in a cast or removable brace. Physical therapy or occupational therapy of the hand is typically required.