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Fractures (complex): assessment and management

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Last updated:17th Feb 2016

This guideline covers assessing and managing pelvic fractures, open fractures and severe ankle fractures (known as pilon fractures and intra-articular distal tibia fractures) in pre-hospital settings (including ambulance services), emergency departments and major trauma centres. It aims to reduce deaths and long-term health problems by improving the quality of emergency and urgent care.

Complex fractures make up the minority of the 1.8 million fractures that occur in England each year, but are associated with considerable morbidity and are a large burden on healthcare resources. The treatment of complex fractures is often complicated and usually involves multiple healthcare professionals and specialists.

This guideline covers the triage, initial and acute stage assessment and management, imaging, referral to specialist care and treatment of complex fractures in children (under 16s) and adults (16 or over).

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