Trauma and Fractures

UT Southwestern Medical Center orthopaedic surgeons are among the most experienced in North Texas in treating highly complex traumatic and post-traumatic injuries – and in exploring effective techniques to improve long-term outcomes.

We treat both adult and pediatric patients suffering everything from injuries sustained during auto accidents to life-threatening falls that can have a long-term impact on functionality.

Our surgeons work in tandem with rehabilitation specialists and psychologists to help you recover from your injuries and reclaim your functionality and independence. 

Highly Experienced in Orthopaedic Trauma

Fractures of the pelvis and the acetabulum, a cup-shaped socket in the hip bone, are among the most serious injuries patients face. Often the result of a car accident or severe fall, these injuries require the rapid and precise treatment available at UT Southwestern.

Our orthopaedic surgeons have pioneered surgical techniques and technology to improve results for patients who have experienced traumatic injuries, including percutaneous fixation of pelvic fractures. 

Conditions We Treat

  • Fractures from high-energy trauma and multiple injuries
  • Isolated fractures and dislocations
  • Post-traumatic conditions such as malunions and nonunions (fractures that fail to heal properly) and osteomyelitis
  • Pelvic fractures and fractures of the acetabulum, as well as others involving the bones and joints
  • Upper and lower extremity fractures, including long bone fractures 

Symptoms

Symptoms of a fracture or a post-traumatic orthopaedic condition can include:

  • A clearly misshapen limb or joint, sometimes accompanied by broken skin or visible bone (“open” or “compound” fracture)
  • Pain, ranging from mild to severe
  • Swelling, bruising, tenderness, or numbness near the fracture
  • Restricted movement
  • Fever

Diagnosis

Orthopaedic injuries – including fractures and post-traumatic orthopaedic conditions – are typically diagnosed with a combination of a physical examination and imaging.

Fractures are typically diagnosed using X-rays. Depending upon the severity and location of the break or post-traumatic injury – as well as the extent of damage to surrounding tissue – other types of imaging also may be used to make a diagnosis. These include arthograms (X-rays of the joints), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Other diagnostic testing may be used instead of, or in addition to, those. Identifying a bone infection, for instance, calls for blood work, while diagnosing a compressed nerve may require a nerve-blocking injection.

Treatments

Fractures of the pelvis, upper and lower extremities, and post-traumatic orthopaedic conditions can be treated both surgically and nonsurgically, depending on the condition.

Nonsurgical treatments include immobilizing devices such as casts, splints, braces, and traction, as well as physical medicine and rehabilitation. Medications can be used to treat fractures and traumatic injuries; for instance, antibiotics are used to treat infections, and anti-inflammatory drugs can treat arthritis.

Surgery is sometimes necessary to properly treat breaks or trauma injuries that are complicated, severe, or resistant to healing. Surgical treatments include fixating (keeping together) the broken parts of the bone using metal pins, screws, or plates.

UT Southwestern orthopaedic medicine specialists work with patients to choose a personalized treatment likely to have the best long-term outcome.

Clinical Trials

Our orthopaedics team is involved in clinical trials that seek to find a better way to prevent, diagnose, and treat bone fractures and post-traumatic orthopaedic conditions. See the latest clinical trials we’re conducting.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern or to learn more about our services, please fill out the Appointment Request form or call 214-645-8300.