How do doctors repair bones that have been shattered?

A shattering fracture can be difficult to repair. Unlike a "normal" break, where the bone snaps in two, a shattered bone leaves bits and pieces of bone and nothing to support the remaining part of bone.

A shattered fracture cannot be just casted - surgery is needed to clean the area out and then stabilize the area. It is important to be sure that all bone fragments are removed from the body as they could cause problems later on. For stabilizing the bone, this usually mean attaching plates to the bone to strengthen and support it, but screws and nails may be used as well.

Reference: 

Amir Alex Jahangir, William W. Cross, and Andrew H. Schmidt. Current management of distal femoral fractures. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. March/April 2010. Vol. 21. No. 2. Pp. 193-197.

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