(to maintain reduced position while callus forms in ~ 6 weeks)
External fixation– required for: contaminated open wounds, severe open fractures, severe associated soft tissue injury
Internal fixation– required for: comminuted or displaced fractures, intra-articular fractures, bones not able to be reduced by other methods, associated joint incongruity
Intramedullary nail – for long bone fractures (femur/tibia/humerus)
K-wires (stainless steel pins which can be inserted percutaneously to hold bone fragments together; can be used as temporary fixation for ~4 weeks) – for fracture fragments or for intramedullary fixation of small bones
Plates and screws – to bridge comminuted fractures, compress simple fractures around joints, support areas of thin cortex or secure tension side of fracture
Conservative immobilisation – can be used for most fractures without above properties, and also to stabilise fractures temporarily in case of delay before reduction/fixation
NB: compartment syndrome is a rise in pressure in a myofascial compartment. It causes pain out of proportion to the injury and is exacerbated by passive stretching of the muscles within the compartment. The treatment is urgent fasciotomy.