The Evolution of Indirect Reduction Techniques for the Treatment of Fractures

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During the last decade, classic AO/ASIF techniques for internal fixation shifted from direct reduction and rigid fixation to biologic internal fixation using indirect reduction techniques. Biologic internal fixation is characterized by the preservation of bone and soft tissue vascularity and relative rather than absolute mechanical stability. Reduction is achieved by using soft tissue traction while obtaining axial and rotational alignment and the correct length. Stabilization is performed when possible by compression plating for load sharing or by bridge plating in comminuted fractures. Advancements of these techniques and the development of newer implants that minimize vascular damage have contributed to the development of biologic internal fixation. By using indirect reduction, by using longer plates to improve the mechanical leverage, and by applying fewer screws to avoid unnecessary damage to the bone, fracture union rates were high. There also was a decreased need for supplemental bone grafting. All of these factors provided stable fixation and allowed early motion.

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