Nonunion Fracture

What Is Nonunion Fracture ?

Understanding Nonunion Fractures: Causes and Treatments

Unveiling the Challenge of Nonunion Fractures

A nonunion fracture occurs when a fractured (broken) bone fails to heal adequately. While most fractures eventually heal, either naturally or through surgical intervention, approximately 5 percent encounter difficulties in the healing process, a condition referred to as “delayed union” or nonunion. Accurate identification of the cause is pivotal for effective nonunion fracture treatment. The leading causes of nonunion are infection, insufficient blood supply to the bone, separation of fractured bone ends, and inadequate fracture stabilization.

Nonunion fractures can afflict any bone, yet certain bones are more susceptible due to poor blood circulation. These bones include the scaphoid in the wrist, the talus in the ankle joint, the femoral neck just below the ball of the hip’s ball-and-socket joint, and the fifth metatarsal extending from mid-foot to the base of the small toe.

Causes of Nonunion Fractures

Nonunion fractures can result from various factors, including:

  • Infection
  • Insufficient Blood Flow
  • Fractured Ends Separation
  • Inadequate Stabilization
  • Poor Blood Circulation in Specific Bones

Treatment for Nonunion Fractures

Nonunion fracture treatment approaches vary and may involve surgery to eliminate infection and provide stability to the fracture. Stabilization methods often encompass either internal or external fixation. To expedite the healing process, a bone graft may be performed. Nonsurgical treatments may involve the use of a bone stimulator, an external device emitting ultrasonic or pulsed electromagnetic waves. Placed over the nonunion fracture site and worn daily, sometimes for extended periods, the bone stimulator stimulates healing. Another effective nonsurgical treatment involves bone marrow injections into the fractured area. Following treatment, nonunion fracture healing typically requires 3 months or more.

Trust City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine for expert guidance and tailored nonunion fracture care, prioritizing your recovery and well-being. Your path to a successful fracture healing journey starts here.

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