What Is The Purpose Of a Fixator?


What Is The Purpose Of a Fixator?

A fixator, in the context of orthopedics, is a device used to stabilize and immobilize bone fragments or segments. The primary purpose of a fixator is to provide support for proper bone healing of fractures, bone healing after correction of orthopedic deformities. There are two main types of fixators: internal fixators and external fixators.

  1. Internal Fixators:
  • Purpose: Internal fixators, such as plates, screws, and intramedullary nails, are used to stabilize fractures of bones. They are placed directly on or inside the bone during surgical procedures.
  • Function: Internal fixators maintain the alignment of fractured bones, provide stability to the fractured site, and allow for optimal healing. They may be used in various types of fractures, including simple and complex fractures.
  1. External Fixators:
  • Purpose: External fixators are devices that stabilize fractures from the outside of the body. They consist of metal pins or wires that are inserted into the bone on either side of the fracture and connected to an external frame.
  • Function: External fixators allow for the stabilization of fractures while providing flexibility for adjustments during the healing process. They are particularly useful in situations where internal fixation may not be suitable, such as open fractures, severe soft tissue injuries, or cases where immediate internal fixation surgery is not possible.

The specific purposes of fixators include:

  • To Keep Bone Alignment: Fixators help maintain proper alignment of fractured bones, preventing deformities during the healing process.
  • To Keep Bone Stability At Fracture Site: By providing stability to the fractured site, fixators reduce the risk of further damage and promote a biological environment conducive to bone healing.
  • Immobilization of Fracture: Fixators immobilize the affected area, preventing excessive movement that could impede the healing process.
  • Facilitation of Bone Healing: Fixators create a supportive environment for the natural bone healing of fractures by allowing the bone fragments to keeping together.
  • Temporary Stabilization of Bone Fragments: In some cases, fixators are used as a temporary measure to stabilize fractures until more definitive treatment, such as internal fixation surgery, can be performed.

The choice between internal and external fixators depends on various factors, including the nature of the fracture, the overall health of the patient, and the surgeon’s judgment. Fixators play a crucial role in orthopedic care, contributing to the successful treatment and recovery of patients with bone fractures or orthopedic diseases.


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