What is closed reduction of fractured bone?

Closed Reduction of Fractured Bone

How can you care for yourself after closed reduction of a broken bone?


  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
  • Increase your activity as recommended by your doctor. Being active boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation. It is usually okay to exercise other parts of your body as soon as you feel well enough.
  • Avoid putting weight on your broken bone until your doctor says it is okay.
  • You may be able to go back to work right away, or you may need to take several weeks off from work. It depends on the type of work you do and how you feel. Your doctor will help you decide how much time to take off from work.
  • You can take showers or baths, but do not get your cast wet. Tape a sheet of plastic to cover your cast so that it stays dry. It may help to sit on a shower stool.


  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.


  • Be safe with medicines. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, take an over-the-counter medicine that your doctor recommends. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
    • Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.


  • Do exercises as instructed by your doctor or physical therapist. These exercises will help keep your muscles strong and your joints flexible while your bone is healing.
  • Wiggle your fingers or toes on the injured arm or leg often. This helps reduce swelling and stiffness.

Ice and elevation

  • Prop up the injured arm or leg on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down during the first 1 to 2 weeks after your injury. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling and pain.

Other instructions

  • Keep your cast dry.
  • Wear a sling to support the fractured limb, if your doctor tells you to.
  • Do not stick objects such as pencils or coat hangers in your cast to scratch your skin.
  • Do not put powder into your cast to relieve itchy skin.
  • Never cut or alter your cast.

What is a closed reduction of a broken bone?

A closed reduction is a procedure to line up the ends of a broken (fractured) bone without the need for surgery. This will help the fractured bone heal correctly. It may be done right after your injury or several days later.

After closed reduction of a fractured bone: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have chest pain, are short of breath, or cough up blood.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse pain.
  • Your fingers or toes are cool or pale or change color.
  • You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your fingers or toes.
  • Your cast or splint feels too tight.
  • You have signs of a blood clot in your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis), such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Swelling in the leg or groin.
    • A color change on the leg or groin. The skin may be reddish or purplish, depending on your usual skin color.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have a problem with your splint or cast.
  • You do not get better as expected.

What can you expect as you recover from a closed reduction of a broken bone?

Most people go home right after the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home. You may need extra help at home, especially if you live alone or provide care for another person. You may have some mild bone pain or aching for 2 to 3 weeks.

It usually takes 6 to 12 weeks for a fractured bone to heal. This depends on your age, which bone you fractured, the type of fracture you have, and how badly the bone was injured. You will need to wear a cast or splint until the bone has healed.

How soon you can return to work and your normal routine depends on your job and how long it takes the bone to heal. If you have a fractured leg and you sit at work, you may be able to go back within several days. But if your job requires a lot of standing or walking, you will need to wait until your fracture has healed.

After closed reduction of a broken bone: Overview

Your doctor fixed a broken (fractured) bone without surgery. You can expect the pain from the bone to get much better almost right after the procedure. But you may have some pain for 2 to 3 weeks and mild pain for up to 6 weeks.

How soon you can return to work and your normal routine depends on your job and how long it takes the bone to heal. If you have a desk job, you may be able to go back to work right away. But if you have a fractured leg and your job requires you to walk or stand a lot, you will need to wait until your fracture has healed.

You heal best when you take good care of yourself. Eat a variety of healthy foods, and don't smoke.

How is a closed reduction of a broken bone done?

Your doctor will give you medicine to help you relax and help with pain. The doctor will push or pull the ends of the fractured bone until they line up. This part of the procedure is called reduction. Then your doctor will put a cast or splint on the affected arm or leg to help hold the bone in place while it heals. The doctor will take an X-ray to check that the bone is properly lined up.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.