After a bone is fractured the two bone segments must be realigned and fixated so that proper healing can occur. It is beneficial and often necessary to also fixate any bone fragments that may have formed during the injury. Traditionally a fracture fixation plate must be inserted using bone screws to hold the bone segments together. Any additional fragments must be attached using screws, bone pins, or wires. Each fracture, especially when complex in nature, may require a unique set of hardware to achieve proper fixation. Proper planning by a skilled surgeon is usually necessary. Insertion of these implants may also be rather invasive since the devices must be inserted into incisions at least as large as the device itself. All of these factors increase the duration of the surgery.

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