Pseudoarthrosis and How to Treat It
Without the correct treatment, pseudoarthrosis causes chronic pain and limits the mobility of the affected area. It can also lead to visible deformities that disrupt normal limb function and increase the risk of additional fractures.
In this post, we will explain what pseudoarthrosis is, its symptoms, and how to prevent any complications in a timely manner.
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What Is Pseudoarthrosis?
What Is Pseudoarthrosis?
Pseudoarthrosis is a condition in which a fractured bone does not heal properly and does not fuse correctly. In other words, it is a fracture that does not heal without medical intervention because the body does not attempt to join the bone fragments. This condition can occur in both children and adults.
Types of Pseudoarthrosis
There are different types of pseudoarthrosis, which are classified based on their origin and characteristics.
It is characterized by a lack of bone formation at the fracture site, which may be associated with poor blood supply to the bone or a decrease in bone cell production.
In this type, there is excessive bone formation at the fracture site. This may be due to an exaggerated response of the body to attempt to repair the fracture.
It occurs when an infection is present at the fracture site, making proper bone healing challenging.
It is a condition present from birth and is specifically due to abnormalities in bone development.
Causes of Pseudoarthrosis
Pseudoarthrosis can result from any of the following situations:
Fractures caused by severe injuries such as car accidents can pose a higher risk of pseudoarthrosis due to damage to the blood supply to the fractured bone.
Some systemic diseases such as diabetes, tuberculosis, and hypothyroidism tend to increase the risk of pseudoarthrosis.
Both the location and type of fracture can influence bone healing. For example, open fractures (with exposed skin) may have a higher risk of pseudoarthrosis.
Symptoms of Pseudoarthrosis
The symptoms of pseudoarthrosis largely depend on the type and location of the fracture.
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Non-Surgical Treatment for Pseudoarthrosis
Non-surgical treatment for pseudoarthrosis may include:
The specialist may use an external bone stimulator to promote fracture healing. This device emits electromagnetic waves or ultrasound pulses that stimulate cell activity and new bone tissue formation.
Physical therapy plays a significant role in the treatment of pseudoarthrosis. Exercises and rehabilitation techniques can help strengthen the surrounding muscles, improve mobility, and promote healing.
urgical Treatment for Pseudoarthrosis
When conservative treatment does not yield the desired results, one of the following surgical procedures may be considered:
Fixation This procedure involves realigning bone fragments and securing them in place using plates, screws, or nails. Internal fixation provides stability and allows the bones to fuse correctly.
In certain situations, it may be necessary to use a bone graft to stimulate fracture healing. The bone graft can come from the patient themselves (autograft) or from external sources (allograft).