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Orthopaedic trauma care

When accidents happen, our orthopaedic trauma team is on standby around the clock to give you the care you need, when you need it most. 

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Orthopaedic trauma happens when a sudden accident causes an orthopaedic injury, such as a severe fracture or broken bone, which needs emergency care for treatment. These injuries are usually not life-threatening, but they can greatly affect your life, impacting your ability to walk, drive and play your favorite sports.

You want to get back to living your life as soon as possible after an orthopaedic trauma injury. Good news: Available around the clock, our specialized orthopaedic surgeons have completed advanced training in the treatment of trauma-related fractures and other injuries.

Common causes of orthopaedic trauma

An orthopaedic injury can occur at any time and even as a result of overuse over time. Some common causes of orthopaedic trauma include:

  • Car or motorcycle accident
  • Fall
  • Natural disaster
  • Physical violence
  • Sports

Orthopaedic trauma is more likely to happen to athletes, to older people who have osteoporosis (a condition that causes reduced bone density) and to women. Women have smaller and less dense bones than men, which puts women at a higher risk for orthopaedic injures.

Common types of orthopaedic trauma injuries include:

  • Amputations
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocation
  • Fractures
  • Overuse injury

Orthopaedic trauma treatment

Our orthopaedic trauma surgeons will help you to gain back your freedom of movement as soon as possible. Depending on your needs, our team can perform surgery to help you begin your path to recovery after an orthopaedic accident.

Orthopaedic specialists only perform surgery when necessary. Your surgeon may recommend one of the following orthopaedic trauma surgeries to help treat you or your loved one:

  • Bone grafting
  • Fracture stabilization
  • Joint fusion
  • Soft tissue reconstruction

Additional treatment options for orthopaedic trauma may include (in addition to or in place of surgery):

  • Antibiotics
  • Cast
  • Physical therapy
  • Splint or boot

Our team will also refer you to other specialists to create a custom treatment plan for you. These specialists may include plastic surgeons, for example.

Safe driving after orthopaedic trauma

Being able to drive again (and soon!) is often a concern for those recovering from orthopaedic trauma — and being able to promptly and effectively brake is essential to safe driving.

Recognizing the importance of getting back to your life as soon as possible, our orthopaedic team created a study that uses a driving simulator created at Bucknell University to learn more about a person’s abilities to effectively brake following an orthopaedic trauma injury. This study helps our doctors and surgeons decide when someone can safely return to driving after an orthopaedic trauma injury.

Virtual reality for pain management

For some, pain after orthopaedic surgery can be significant and even last throughout recovery. This pain has been traditionally managed with prescription medication like opiates, which can lead to opioid use disorder (OUD). To reduce acute postoperative pain, opioid use and OUD, we’re studying the safety and effectiveness of therapeutic virtual reality for pain management.

This study works with people who have had total knee reconstruction or replacement (arthroplasty). After surgery, participants wear a pair of goggles to create the sensation of being transported into immersive, 3D worlds. The goal is to limit a person's processing of pain signals after surgery, thereby reducing opioid use.

Orthopaedic care at Geisinger

  • Comprehensive orthopaedic care: Whether you need joint replacement, sports medicine or chiropractic care, or you want to benefit from a world-renowned spine surgery program, we offer unmatched expertise for orthopaedic conditions. Our team is experienced in treating a wide range of orthopaedic conditions including bone and joint pain; injuries from sports, falls and fractures; and the wear and tear of daily life.
  • World-class care, close to home: With 24 locations throughout central, northeast and south-central Pennsylvania, our experienced orthopaedic team provides evaluations, consultations and comprehensive care. We offer leading-edge treatment options and tailored-to-you care backed by the expertise and innovation of a nationally renowned health system.
  • Better, faster healing: Tried and true methods keep you on the path to healing, such as our ProvenCare®  program, which identifies and consistently provides the best treatment for specific conditions. This means you spend less time in the hospital and recover faster.
  • Round-the-clock trauma care: When you have an orthopaedic trauma emergency, you need immediate care. Our orthopaedic surgeons are available around the clock and have completed advanced training in the treatment of trauma-related fractures and other injuries, so you can get advanced care when you need it most.