- When doctors talk about reduction or a fracture, or reducing the broken bone, they are talking about improving the alignment of the broken ends of the bone.
In most cases reducing a fracture involves placing the broken bone in a cast, often after a little pulling and tugging to achieve improved alignment. If the reduction cannot be satisfactorily achieved (meaning the alignment is either not adequate or not sufficiently stable), then a further procedure may be necessary. This usually means surgery with fixation of the bone with pins, plates, screws or rods. (from About.com by Jonathan Cluett, MD)