Fracture, Open

Fracture, Open is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Basics

Description

  • Continuity between skin violation and fracture site, ranging from a puncture wound to grossly exposed bone
  • Surgical urgency, as delays in care increase risk of infection and rate of complications
  • Predisposition to complications in certain patients:
    • Massive soft tissue damage
    • Severe wound contamination
    • Compromised vascularity
    • Fracture instability
    • Compromised host (diabetes, vascular disease)

Etiology

Open fractures typically result from significant blunt force or penetrating trauma.

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