Realistic Expectations (Fractures)
The period of recovery following fractures is dependent on the particular type of fracture, as well as the type of fixation used to stabilize the fracture. Ideally, if the fracture permits, we perform rigid internal fixation techniques with mini-plates and mini-screws in order to stabilize the broken bone without the need for external splint or cast stabilization. This procedure allows the hand to be moved three or four days after surgery and prevents the joint stiffness and loss of motion often seen with the nonrigid fixation techniques sometimes used by "non-hand surgeons". Plates and screws occasionally need to be removed and joint releases will need to be performed secondarily, but this is much less common with the rigid internal fixation techniques as compared to other techniques. Often, the patient is able to return to reasonably normal activities within four weeks following rigid internal fixation of some fractures.