J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2018 Feb;53(1):1-8. 10.4055/jkoa.2018.53.1.1.

Management of Polytrauma

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jjkim2@amc.seoul.kr


To optimize results for polytrauma patients, prompt evacuation and early management are critical. These patients also require a multidisciplinary team effort, involving multiple departments, as they are likely to have not only musculoskeletal injuries but also specific organ injuries or compromised general status. In the 1980s, the goal was definitive fracture fixation in the early stages after injury (early total care). Since the 1990s, however, the goal has shifted to temporary fixation, with a delay of several days prior to definitive fixation (damage control orthopedics). Recently, the timing and extent of treatment have been determined by the condition of patients based on objective indicators. Because surgery may result in secondary damage, it is desirable to minimize potential tissue injury with either temporary fixation or a delay in definitive fixation.


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