Orthopaedic Instruments

As with lots of specialities, orthopaedics can be split into elective and trauma. All procedures will involve working with bone, however, the focus now is often on tissue preservation – to aid patient recovery.  Orthopaedic surgery can be hard work and long hours. But it can be very creative – sometimes you will see some very innovative solutions to help treat a patient.  Surgeons often need to think on their feet and work out what instrument sets work together to best fix a fracture. 

There are lots of manufacturer-specific sets in orthopaedics (for example a branded knee or shoulder replacement set, or trauma plating set.)  These are often used and complimented by generic sets – as some instruments can help with the preparation of the surgical area.  In this blog we will look at some orthopaedic instruments, what their basic functions are and how they can often work together to help treat patients.

K Wires

The term “K wires” is short for “Kirschner wires.”  These have many uses and come in a number of lengths, widths and styles (threaded, partially threaded or plain.)  Commonly used in orthopaedic surgery, they can aid the reduction of fractures, hold fragments in place before fixation or can even be used as an implant and left in place to hold fractures together.  K wires are a single-use item and are available sterile packed.  When using k-wires with drills –it is important to ensure they are inserted correctly.  If they are not straight, they can cause further damage when inserted, or even snap off inside a patient as circular motion passes through the straight metal.

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