Post-surgical Problem Fractures - Nonunions and Malunions
Fractured bones that don’t heal properly can cause pain and limited mobility months and even years after the initial injury. The most common types of problem fractures are:
- “Nonunions,” which occur when a bone does not heal within six to nine months after a fracture. Treatment options include surgery to stabilize the fracture and improve blood flow to the area in order to augment healing. In most cases, even the most longstanding and disabling nonunion can be healed.
- “Malunions,” which occur when a bone heals in an imperfect position, often resulting in shortened or crooked limbs. Treatment involves cutting the bone (an “osteotomy”) at or near the site of the original fracture and resetting it to correct the mal-alignment, or inserting plates or screws to ensure that the fracture maintains its position once it is set. Malunions that involve shortening of the bone may require some method of bone lengthening.