Traffic accidents are a major cause of fractures worldwide; however recently in Thailand there have been over 50,000 cases of fracture as a result of traffic accidents alone.
Fractures are not a trivial matter because although they are not often fatal,improper treatment can lead to permanent disabilities or paralysis. The main cause of fractures apart from traffic accidents include accidents that happen
at work, or whilst playing sports and an increasing number of fractures occur in the elderly.
The treatment of fractures has seen significant developments. In Thailand,Dr. Suthorn Bavonratanavech, Orthopedic Surgeon and Senior Director of the Bangkok Orthopedic Center at Bangkok Hospital has contributed. Dr. Suthorn
has been a pioneer in techniques and treatment of fractures for over 30 years and is also active in international medical circles. In 2014, he was the first Asian and Thai to become the President of AO Foundation (Arbeitgemeinschaft fur Osteosynthesegragen: a study group which researches bone healing, and which was formed in Europe in the 1960’s.
The principles of treatment of fractures include 5 steps or simply called 5R:
Recognition- Detailed diagnosis of the fracture including preparation of equipment and treatment plan
Reduction- Returning bones to original position
Retention- Ensure that bone is stable before putting on a cast
Rehabilitation – Includes physical and where necessary, emotional therapy
Reconstruction – Fixes damaged parts, including complications that occur after treatment
“Generally treatment will include two main methods, surgical and non-surgical. Non-surgical treatment will involve a cast and making the fracture immobile. Most commonly, the body parts that require a cast are the arm or lower leg. Immobilizing a broken bone may involve skin traction, or applying traction apparatus to the skin under the location of the fracture. Another method is skeleton traction which refers to the use of a pin to heal the fracture. To prevent pain, patients may receive anesthesia or an epidural. This method is commonly used to treat fractures occur in the femur (thigh-bone).
“It requires the patient to lie still for long periods of time, which may result in bed or pressure sores and other complications. Thus, surgical treatment includes Minimally Invasive plate Osteosynthesis (MIPO),may be a more viable alternative; following surgery the patient will be able to move around,however a cast will be needed and it is necessary to avoid heavy usage for 1-2 months”.
“Selection of the appropriate treatment method requires a discussion between medical professionals and the patient as the healing of a fracture may last a prolonged period. The patient may have to take time off work and take into
consideration other impacts it may have on daily living. New and advanced technology has helped reduce the time required in treatment and rehabilitation. Bangkok Hospital provides such technologies manned by
orthopedic specialists to provide patients with the best care with minimal pain,and a fast recovery period”.