Non Union Guide

Non union of fracture occurs when there is a delayed healing or no healing at the site of fracture. Due to the presence of non union fracture the movement of that particular joint gets altered/ changed and is generally painful.

Causes of Non Unions

Non union can be a cause of :

  • Poor blood supply
  • Fractured ends may not be near to each other
  • Infection
  • Muscle/ligament covering the broken end
  • Joint is not fixed

Risks of Non Unions

The people who are at high risk of developing a non union fracture are :

  • Alcoholic
  • Chronic Smokers
  • Old age
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Low vitamin-D level
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Poor nutrition
  • Infection

Treatment of Non Unions

The non union of fracture are treated by either conservative or surgical methods which might including internal fixation, external fixation or bone grafting as per the requirement of the patient.

  • The treatment procedure involves re-evaluating (checking) of the fracture site, to ensure the exact cause behind the non union.
  • Once the cause has been identified the treatment is planned by the orthopedics as per the requirement.

Conservative Method :

  • To treat the non union fracture conservatively a bone stimulator is used.
  • Bone stimulator is a small device that stimulates bone healing by producing ultrasonic or pulsed electromagnetic waves.

Surgical Method :

  • Surgical method is used when the first surgery fails.
  • Surgical methods includes :

    • Bone Grafts (a piece of bone is removed [harvested] and is grafted at the non union site, for faster healing, can be taken from the patient itself or from another person or body).
    • Internal Fixation (the non union site is stabilized using plates and screws outside the bone).
    • External Fixation (the non union is stabilized using a rigid frame outside the affected arm or leg).

Healing Period with Non Unions

The healing period in non union fracture are delayed up to 6 months and the patient always experiences pain at the site of injury and difficulty in performing the movement of that particular joint.

Rehabilitation with Non Unions

Rehabilitation phase is important in non union fractures because the capability of the joint to perform function/movement reduces and movement is painful.

With the help of certain exercises, specific to the injured area one can easily overcome their complications caused by the non union of the fracture.