Damage control orthopaedics is the concept of managing fractures in patients with multiple injuries by containing and stabilizing the fractures and injuries, and delaying complete surgical repair until your overall condition improves.It focuses on stabilizing fractures with external fixation methods, managing and preventing soft-tissue injuries, controlling bleeding and preventing deterioration of your condition.
Immediate treatment of fractures and early mobilization are generally considered advantageous, but that does not hold true if you have multiple injuries and severe trauma. Your body reacts to trauma with an inflammatory response, which is necessary for the healing of tissues and prevention of infection. This response is gradually regulated by the body to achieve stability. In cases of immediate surgery, the inflammatory response is activated a second time, resulting in severe inflammation, which can lead to complications such as multiple organ failure and respiratory distress syndrome.
Damage control orthopaedics is usually indicated in cases involving elderly patients, severely damaged limbs, head injuries, chest injuries, certain pelvic fractures and bilateral thigh bone fractures. If you present with a fracture along with other injuries, your doctor will assess your overall condition before deciding if you are a candidate for immediate surgery or damage control orthopaedics.