Broken arm/elbow surgery

Patient

Q: My wife fell and broke her arm in at least three places that I know of. She is 56 years old and she is diabetic. She also has a mechanical aortic heart valve and is on warfarin. The orthopedic doctor wants to surgically repair her elbow but says she needs to stop her warfarin for one week before her surgery. Our primary care doctor who is a cardiologist recommends against the surgery and says the risks(Infection, no warfarin, heart valve, diabetes) outweigh the benifets of surgery. Who do we believe?Thank You.

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Broken arm/elbow surgery-1 Broken arm/elbow surgery-2
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thank you for posting your query on ATD.

I have gone through your query and understand your concern. Your wife's fracture is an indication for surgery. But your cardiologist is against surgery due to risk of life involved with it. Life is very important as compared to the elbow. You can opt for nonoperative treatment of elbow fracture. Some mal union is likely to occur.

Hope your query get answered.
Wishing your wife a good health.
Take care.

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