Complications of fractures

James Wilson-MacDonald and Andrew James

in Oxford Textbook of Trauma and Orthopaedics

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199550647
Published online April 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199608249 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Complications of fractures

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Fat embolism syndrome is defined as the presence of globules of fat in the lungs and in other tissues and occurs occasionally in long bone fractures

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is characterized by intense prolonged pain, vasomotor disturbance, delayed functional recovery, and trophic changes

Avascular necrosis typically affects intra-articular bone after fracture and can occur in up to 70% of displaced talar neck fractures

Immobility associated with recovery from fracture is associated with deep vein thrombosis, which carries a risk of pulmonary embolism, and should be treated with anti-coagulants

Gas gangrene is a rapidly-spreading infection of devitalized tissue, removal of the affected area and treatment with penicillin is required

Compartment syndrome within a closed compartment can result in tissue ischaemia and necrosis followed by fibrosis and muscle contracture

Chapter.  5173 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery

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