Category: Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery

Cervical Dislocation Fracture – Part Three – Urgent Treatment

Mark McFarland, MD

Mark W. McFarland, DO What happens to the patient from the scene of the accident, during transport to the hospital and after they make it to the hospital trauma unit?  In this article, I’ll talk about treatment for this type of cervical fracture and how we start to put the pieces back together for the… Read more »

What Does “External Fixation” Mean in Orthopaedics?

Image of Dr. Boyd Haynes

Boyd W. Haynes III, MD External Fixation is a term that references a method for temporarily stabilizing fractured bones outside the body, typically using pins, wires, screws, rods, etc.  This stabilization technique is often used when the patient has been badly injured where other, more severe, life-threatening injuries must be treated first, or where the… Read more »

What is a Segmental Fracture and How is it Treated?

Dr. Boyd Haynes, III

Boyd W. Haynes III, MD A segmental fracture is one where there are at least two fracture lines in a bone and a “segment” of separated bone in-between those fracture lines. Sometimes these medical definitions make sense!   They typically happen in the long bones of the arms and legs but can happen elsewhere in the… Read more »

Cervical Dislocation Fracture – Part II – The Symptoms

Mark W. McFarland, DO In part one of this article series, we discussed what a cervical dislocation fracture is, how it can happen and exactly how serious of an injury it can be.  In part two, I’d like to discuss the symptoms of a cervical dislocation fracture and how a tiny distance can make a… Read more »

Complete Dislocation Fracture of the Cervical Spine – Part I -What is it?

Dr. Mark McFarland

Mark W. McFarland, DO Most people are aware of basic spine anatomy – how the bones of the spine sit atop one another, sandwiched between cushiony discs filled with watery gel that act as shock absorbers.  These vertebrae, and the attached muscles and ligaments give us amazing strength and stability to lift heavy weights and… Read more »

What is a Comminuted Fracture and How is it Treated?

Dr. Burrow demonstrating the knee to a patient

John D. Burrow, DO One of the more complicated types of bone fracture to treat is the comminuted fracture.  This is where the bone breaks into three or more pieces, typically caused by a high-force accident or trauma, such as a fall from a height, a motor vehicle crash, or a contact sports injury.  Often… Read more »

What is a Burst (Axial) Fracture of the Spine?

Mark W. McFarland, MD One of the first things you learn in medical school is that human bones can withstand lots of punishment, but they also can break in a lot of different ways.  Spinal bones (vertebrae) tend to break in specific ways, and some can be more serious than others.  In this article, I’m… Read more »

How are Bone Fractures Classified or Described?

Jeffrey R. Carlson, MD, CPE In an earlier article by Dr. Joel Stewart, the ten types of bone fractures were listed, a description was given of each, and potential causes were given for many.  Did you know that there are even more ways that fractures are classified clinically?  These descriptors help physicians understand the physical… Read more »

What is Orthopaedic or Skeletal Traction and Why is it Used?

Boyd W. Haynes III, MD If you are near my age, can you remember how TV showed patients with broken bones?  They were all in the hospital, lying in a bed, with pins through their limbs, in traction.  That was the reality, too.  Forty to fifty years ago, we didn’t have the technology, instrumentation, anesthesia,… Read more »

What is an Oblique Fracture and How is it Treated?

Robert J. Snyder, MD An oblique fracture is one that breaks diagonally across the width of the bone and along the longitudinal axis of the bone.  Because of the shape of the bone fracture, the edges of the bone are typically quite sharp and knife-like and can cause lacerations to the skin over the fracture,… Read more »