Learning Center Articles

Fracture immobilization

Fracture immobilization

  • Cast
    • Temporary
    • Allows patient to perform many normal activities of daily living
    • Made of various materials
    • Typically incorporates joints above and below fracture

Upper extremity immobilization

  • Sling
    • To support and elevate arm
    • Contraindicated with proximal humerus fracture
    • Ensures axillary area is well padded
    • No undue pressure on posterior neck
    • Encourage movement of fingers and non-immobilized joints

Vertebral immobilization

  • Body jacket brace
    • Immobilization and support for stable spine injuries
    • Monitor for superior mesenteric artery syndrome (cast syndrome)
      • Assess bowel sounds (decreased bowel)
      • Treat with gastric decompression

Lower extremity immobilization

  • Elevate extremity above heart
  • Do not place in a dependent position
  • Observe for signs of compartment syndrome and increased pressure

External fixation

  • Metal pins and rods
  • Applies traction
  • Compresses fracture fragments
  • Immobilizes and holds fracture fragments in place
    • Assess for pin loosening and infection
    • Patient teaching
    • Pin site care

Internal fixation

  • Internal fixation devices (pins, plates, intramedullary rods, metal and bioabsorbable screws) are surgically inserted to realign and maintain position of bony fragments
  • These metal devices are biologically inert and made from stainless steel, vitallium, or titanium