Nonunion / Malunions (Deformities after Injuries)
Nonunion fractures involve a bone that fails to heal on its own. This can be due to several factors, including poor blood supply, nutritional status, and fracture location. A malunion fracture involves healing in an abnormal position.
The bone may have healed crookedly or rotated from its normal resting position. This may be due to the location of the bone, the surgical placement during fixation, or a second break during the healing process. Both types of fractures involve extending healing times and often require surgical procedures to ensure proper healing and function of the affected tissue.
- Dull ache or pain at the site of healing
- Limping or abnormal movements of the affected limb
- Deformity of the affected tissue
- Weakness in the affected limb or tissue
- Decreased range of motion due to improper alignment/healing
of the bone
These types of fractures are diagnosed through X-rays to determine the extent of healing or malunion that occurred. Blood tests may also be used to diagnose any related cause of slow healing or infection in the bone. Diabetes and anemia are both common diseases that can cause slow healing of fractures.
Nonunion treatments will search for ways to allow the bone to heal properly. This may involve both surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Malunion treatments typically involve surgical intervention to correct the misaligned bone. After the bone has healed correctly, it is essential to strengthen the tissue that has been immobilized. This will likely involve working with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles around the bone.