Reduction is a surgical procedure to restore a fracture or dislocation to the correct alignment. This term of “reduction” does not imply any sort of removal but rather implies a restoration. When a bone fractures, the fragments lose their alignment in the form of displacement or angulation.
For the fractured bone to heal without any deformity the bony fragments must be re-aligned to their normal anatomical position. The orthopaedic surgery attempts to recreate the normal anatomy of the fractured bone by reduction of the displacement.
The reduction surgery could be done by “closed” or “open” methods.
• The open reduction is where the fracture fragments are exposed surgically by dissecting the tissues.
• The closed reduction is the manipulation of the bone fragments without surgical exposure of the fragments.
A reduction surgery can briefly be intensely painful, it is commonly done under a short-acting anaesthetic or a nerve block. Once the fragments are reduced, the reduction is maintained by the application of casts, traction or held by plates, screws, or other implants which may in turn be external or internal. It is very important to verify the accuracy of reduction by clinical tests and X-ray, especially in the case with joint dislocations.
An orthopaedics cast, or a simple upper limb or lower limb cast, is a shell commonly made from plaster or fiberglass which encases a limb to stabilize and hold anatomical structures, most often a broken bone or bones, in place until healing is confirmed. In more recent time, bandages of synthetic materials are used, knitted fiberglass bandages impregnated with polyurethane, sometimes bandages of thermoplastic. These are lighter and dry much faster than plaster bandages.