Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Soft Tissue Case 5 ED Management

The diagnosis of fracture blisters should prompt contact with the treating orthopedist because they frequently overlie sites of planned internal fixation or surgical incisions. Their presence may significantly complicate, delay, or alter attempts at operative management or casting. There is no clear consensus on management of fracture blisters. Some orthopedic surgeons will delay operative management until wound healing has occurred, while others may choose to proceed regardless of their presence. For this reason the consulting orthopedist should be involved early in wound and operative management decisions. Long term complications may include chronic ulcers, infection, and prolonged hospital stays.