We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Closed Reduction?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Closed reduction is a method used for treating fractures in which the physician manipulates the fractured bones from the outside of the body to correctly position them without making an incision to access the site of the fracture. This method of fracture treatment is preferred in many settings and it will be tried first in some cases even if a doctor fears that surgical treatment may be required. Closed reductions can be used to treat not just fractures, but also dislocations.

During this procedure, the physician takes X-rays to visualize the bone and to determine the nature and position of the fracture. Analgesic medications are given to the patient to make him or her more comfortable, and then the doctor, usually an orthopedic surgeon, carefully manipulates the bones to fit them back together. Once the surgeon is satisfied that the bones are aligned properly, they are immobilized so that they can begin the process of knitting back together.

Once a closed reduction is complete, a second x-ray is taken to confirm that the bones are properly placed. This is important because if they are not positioned appropriately they will heal improperly. The bones may still heal improperly or shift during healing, which usually leads to a situation in which a patient must have surgery. Poorly healed fractures can cause complications such as limb shortening and joint weakness. Patients usually experience a significant reduction in pain once a fracture has been reduced.

There are a number of advantages to a closed reduction. This type of treatment is less invasive, which can speed healing time. It is less likely to expose the patient to the risk of infection, because the skin is not broken, and it will not leave scars behind, which can be a concern for some patients. However, this procedure is not always appropriate. Sometimes a fracture needs to be repaired surgically because it is complex.

Usually a surgeon can determine from x-rays whether or not surgery is necessary. If the surgeon is not sure, a closed reduction may be attempted first to see if the situation can be resolved that way. Before doing this, the surgeon has to weigh the risks and benefits of doing a closed reduction. One risk may be the risk of increased injuries to the patient incurred during a closed fracture reduction. If this risk is high, the surgeon may suggest proceeding directly to surgery.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Esther11 — On May 26, 2011

Five years ago, I did a clumsy thing. I tripped going down some stairs and broke my wrist and the elbow on the same arm. This was after breaking my other wrist the year before.

The fracture in my wrist was set without any problem, but my elbow was a mess. The doctor tried to get it back in place. No luck. I then had to have surgery. My elbow was kind of crushed and just didn't go back together well. It healed slowly and is weak and it hurts to this day. I guess when you get older, you don't heal as well.

When I woke up after surgery, did I ever have a surprise! My new granddaughter had been born in the same hospital. I convinced the nurses to let me go to the fifth floor to see her. What a crazy day.

By B707 — On May 24, 2011

A good friend of mine is a nurse in an emergency room. Boy, has she seen some awful cases of broken bones. She once saw a young boy come in with a badly broken leg. It was sticking out with just a thin layer of skin covering the jagged bone. He was in such pain and cried and cried. She felt so sorry for him.

Anyway, the doctor tried a closed reduction but he couldn't get the bone back in place. He tried using x-rays, but still couldn't get it in place. Finally, he had to perform surgery because there was jagged edges where the bone broke.

The little boy healed fine. I guess because he was young and young bodies heal fast.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.