Orthopaedic Trauma

The surgeons at Knox Orthopaedic Group provide care for patients who have sustained orthopaedic trauma injuries.  These include both bony and soft tissue injuries to the upper and lower limbs and pelvis. These injuries commonly occur following falls or during sporting activities.

Patients with significant orthopaedic trauma are often taken by ambulance to an emergency department.  Knox Private Hospital has a large emergency department facility, which is staffed 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.  The specialist emergency doctors at Knox Private Hospital often refer orthopaedic trauma patients to the surgeons at Knox Orthopaedic Group.

Patients who have sustained fractures or joint injuries in general are treated with the RICE protocol.  This involves Rest and Ice and Compression and Elevation.

The surgeons at Knox Orthopaedic Group will take a thorough history from a patient who has sustained orthopaedic trauma. The injured area will be examined.  X-rays are essential to diagnose fractures, and to investigate joint injuries.  Other tests may be necessary.  This may involve CT scans, MRI scans, or ultrasound scans.

Treatment of fractures may involve supporting the injury with a plaster or a splint.  More significant injuries may require bracing or surgery.  Surgical fixation of fractures often requires an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF).  Plates may be applied to some broken bones.  Fractures of the long bones, such as the femur and the tibia are treated by insertion of titanium intra-medullary rods. Displaced fractures in the hip joint may require hip replacement surgery.

The risks as well as the benefits of any orthopaedic trauma treatment will be thoroughly discussed at the time of consultation.  Non-operative and operative treatment options will be explained.

The surgeons at Knox Orthopaedic Group regularly review their orthopaedic trauma patients until they have achieved a good recovery. Physiotherapists will frequently be involved in the rehabilitation of trauma patients in order to achieve an optimal recovery.

Full functional recovery is the ideal outcome for trauma however this may not always be possible. The best outcome possible can be achieved if patients adhere to the instructions provided by the surgeons and physiotherapists.

Some patients will have been smoking up to the time of their injury. As smoking dramatically impairs bone and soft tissue healing, it is vital that patients discontinue smoking at least until full healing has occurred. Nicotine patches can be very helpful at this time.