Open Vs. Closed Fracture Care

Open fracture care is reported when the provider creates an opening to expose the bone to treat the fracture. Open fracture care is not performed in the emergency department; instead, the patient is taken to an operating room. Closed repair, by contrast, is made without an incision.

The patient may present with an open fracture (the bone pierces the skin), but may still receive closed fracture repair. For example, the provider may manipulate the bone back into place, repair the wound, and apply a cast.

Orthopaedic Surgery COSC

The bottom line: The treatment performed dictates the type of fracture care reported, not the patient’s diagnosis.

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John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.
John Verhovshek

About Has 404 Posts

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.

One Response to “Open Vs. Closed Fracture Care”

  1. Evangela Craddock, CPC says:

    It is my understanding that not only does the physician create an opening to expose the bone but has to remove the fractured bone. This is per AANS Guidelines.

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