OrthoPlastic Extremity Trauma
Many challenges exist in the management of severe open fractures, which have historically tested surgeons’ ability and resourcefulness. Complications are difficult to avoid and can be serious, frequently life changing for the patient. Co-ordinated inter-specialty care provided by experienced orthopaedic and plastic surgeons, can improve patients’ likelihood of a successful outcome. A key factor for achieving organised care is timely and effective communication between teams to evaluate reconstructive options and generate the most appropriate definitive surgical plan. A number of key decision making steps must be made during the patient’s initial or primary operative intervention, therefore a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing each specialty is vital. Prompt, versatile clinical considerations must be made, especially when faced with the polytrauma patient, requiring intensive care support. Ill-conceived early management decision can significantly impact upon the definitive surgical options available. This article will aim to outline key principles in the surgical management of severe open fractures and provide guidance to facilitate combined care.
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