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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fracture Blisters

  • Author(s): Uebbing, Claire M
  • Walsh, Mark
  • Miller, Joseph B
  • Abraham, Mathew
  • Arnold, Clifford
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License

Fracture blisters are a relatively uncommon complication of fractures in locations of the body, such as the ankle, wrist elbow and foot, where skin adheres tightly to bone with little subcutaneous fat cushioning. The blister that results resembles that of a second degree burn.

These blisters significantly alter treatment, making it difficult to splint or cast and often overlying ideal surgical incision sites. Review of the literature reveals no consensus on management; however, most authors agree on early treatment prior to blister formation or delay until blister resolution before attempting surgical correction or stabilization. [West J Emerg Med. 2011;12(1);131-133.]

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