Fractures that Result in a Nonunion
What is a Fracture that Results in a Nonunion?
A hand or wrist fracture occurs when the bone is broken from an injury, causing pain and swelling. People with osteoporosis (bone density thins over time with age) are especially vulnerable to fractures. The trauma can cause fragments of the bone to shift or even shatter. “Nonunion” is a condition that results from a broken bone that does not heal properly. There must be adequate support and blood supply to promote healing.
Nonunions may be treated using a cast and/or receiving treatments using a small external device that delivers ultrasonic or electromagnetic waves, called a bone stimulator, to stimulate healing. While non-surgical treatment can relieve mild cases of the condition, surgery may be necessary if it continues to worsen.
Internal and/or External Fixation(s) and Bone Grafts
If surgery is needed, plates and screws can help keep the bone properly aligned as it heals. As the fracture heals, blood typically begins to circulate through the injury to improve the healing process. When blood supply is lost, orthopaedic hand surgeon Tyson Cobb, MD can perform specialized procedures that restore blood flow. Vascularized bone grafts and even new adult autologous stem cell stimulation and transfer procedures have also been successful with nonunions.