Surgery Or Not

When ever you fracture a bone in your body, there are periods where surgery may or may not be required. Generally after a fracture the main aim is to realign any displaced, angulated or rotated fracture. This can be done through surgery or conservatively, as long as you can stabilize the fracture, restore surrounding normal muscular/joint function and correct any deformity.

Needing surgery can depend on the person, their sport, work environment and imaging findings. Conservative management generally requires the use of a cast, while surgery is sometimes unavoidable and is generally the best outcomes for the situation at hand.

What do you need to consider if you can choose between the two?

Rehabilitation- post surgery this is generally very quick as the bone is generally stronger (rods, pins), while conservative requires a slow build up and relying on natural healing times more.

Cost- this will depend on whether you have private cover or not and the type of fracture you are presented with.

Risk of joint stiffness- surgery allows you to move the joint a lot earlier than expected while conservative will require you to be in a cast for a minimum of 6-10 weeks.

Speed of healing- actually with surgery there is a lot of trauma to the site thus healing is slow, while comparatively conservative management is actually very fast

Risk of infection- this is a big risk factor for surgery, while conservative management has no real risk here.

Risk of non-union- whether it is surgery or conservative there is always a risk that the fracture site will not heal

Overall whether you decide for surgery or conservative depends on multiple factors. Before making any decision speak to your therapist, so they help you determine the right plans for you.