Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF)

Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) is a surgery done to fix a bone using surgical plates, nails, screws or pins.

What to expect

Under general or local anesthesia, an incision is made over the fractured bone. Once the bone is placed in its proper position, screws, pins, plates or nails are attached to stabilize it. Longer bones may be repaired with a nail placed directly in the bone cavity.

If part of the bone has been lost because of the fracture, the surgeon may opt for a bone graft to keep healing on track. Bone grafts will either be taken from the patient’s own bone or from a donor. The incision is then closed in layers and may be drained. A dressing is applied, followed by a cast or splint.

Some of the materials that keep the bones stabilized are removed after the bone heals, while some are permanent and made of materials that absorb into the body.

How to prepare

Patients will be expected to not eat and limit drink to clear liquids for at least six hours before the procedure. The area to be treated will be cleaned and shaved immediately prior to the surgery. Loose clothing is recommended for ease of dressing after the procedure and arrangements should be made for a ride home. Pre-procedure use of medication should be discussed with your primary care physician prior to your scheduled procedure date.