Perioperative management of open fractures in the lower limb.
An open fracture is a fracture which communicates with the external environment through a wound in the skin. Severe open fractures are managed by both orthopaedic and plastic surgeons to address injuries in both the bone and soft tissue. This review outlines the management of open fractures in the lower limb from the initial patient presentation to operative management (including debridement, skeletal fixation, definitive soft tissue coverage) according to the standards jointly published by the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Additionally, the decision-making between limb salvage or amputation will be explored. Finally, this review will discuss the patient's postoperative care including wound care and management of potential complications that may arise such as infection, flap failure and fracture non-union.