ORIF - Open Reduction With Internal Fixation

Surgical Treatment of a Broken Bone

fracture surgery
Dana Neely / Getty Images

O.R.I.F. is an abbreviation for Open Reduction Internal Fixation. Open reduction internal fixation is a method of surgically repairing a broken bone.   The basic principle of this treatment is two steps:

  1. First, to reposition the broken bones to restore their normal alignment.  This is a procedure that is called 'fracture reduction.'  Because the fracture is being surgically repositioned, this is considered an open reduction.  This would contrast with a closed reduction where the bones are repositioned without a surgical procedure.
  1. Second, is an internal fixation.  This means the repositioned bones are held in the proper alignment with some type of implant.  Common surgical implants used to hold broken bones include metal plates and screws, and rods in the hollow center of the bone (called an intramedullary rod).  These implants hold the bones while healing takes place to ensure the bones heal in the right position.

If you are having a broken bone treated by open reduction with internal fixation, you will be taken to the operating room, given anesthesia so that you will not feel the surgery, and have your bones repaired by an orthopedic surgeon.

Almost all orthopedic implants are deigned to stay in the body without the need to be removed.  However, there are exceptions, and times when a second surgery is necessary to remove the implants that held the bone in position while healing was taking place.

Also Known As: Open Reduction Internal Fixation, Operative Treatment, Open Treatment

Continue Reading