The contemporary treatment of broken bones provides predictable and reliable results. Your body is already able to repair fractures, so medical attention focuses on stabilizing the point of the bone break to aid natural healing. In rare cases, though, problems arise, such as when you’re unaware of a fracture or when something happens that prevents or delays proper healing. Dr. Eric E. Johnson of Los Angeles specializes in orthopedic trauma, including the treatment of poorly healed bones.
Irregularities in bone healing come in several forms:
Correcting your poorly healed fracture depends on the form of irregular healing you’re experiencing. Non-union and delayed union bone healing issues tend to be more prevalent in adults since children’s still-developing bones typically heal quickly. Children are more susceptible to malunion issues.
The most basic rule of treatment for broken bones is stabilization. The fracture must stay held in place for natural bone knitting to progress. Non-surgical methods include casts, while surgical fixation could use pins, screws, plates, rods, or frames.
Healing also requires a steady supply of blood to the area of the fracture. Usually, this occurs naturally, but in the case of a non-union or delayed union, poor blood flow could be a contributor, requiring surgical intervention.
Finally, adequate nutrition provides the building blocks needed by your body to make its repairs. Dietary supplements aren’t effective, so the best way to aid your healing fracture and avoid complications is to eat a balanced diet, including sources of calcium, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
Non-unions and delayed unions generally require improved stabilization to keep the fracture in alignment while preventing small movements that could destroy healing progress. For example, if a cast originally provided fracture stability, surgical stabilization with pins and plates may be the next step.
Surgery could also involve bone grafts to assist in the creation of new bone tissue. The grafted bone provides a bone “bridge,” across which new bone growth passes, overcoming the non-union or speeding the delayed union.
It’s possible to help some poorly healed fractures non-surgically through bone stimulation. A bone stimulator uses ultrasonic or electromagnetic waves to encourage bone growth. Treatment times depend on your case. You’ll need to wear a bone stimulator daily from 20 minutes to several hours to gain its benefits.
Malunions that interfere with motion or function benefit from the same techniques adapted to the needs of your improperly healed fracture. Typically, Dr. Johnson re-breaks the bone under surgical conditions and resets its alignment. Bone trimming, grafting, and surgical stabilization are common techniques used to repair malunion issues.
Contact Dr. Johnson’s Westwood Los Angeles practice at 424-309-1492 when issues remain after a fracture should be back to normal. Put Dr. Johnson’s experience and expertise to work for you, restoring your body to its proper condition. Call today to arrange your consultation.