What Are The Treatment Option For Mal-unions?
Treatment for non-union and mal-union may include the following:
Internal fixation (link to internal fixation)
External fixation (link to external fixation)
Combined internal and external fixation
External bone stimulation, using treatment methods such as ultrasound or electromagnetic therapy
Mal-unions are treated by surgically breaking the malunion (osteotomy), realigning the pieces, and then stabilizing them with plates and screws, a rod, or even an external fixator.
Treatment of non-unions may be complemented with a synthetic bone graft or one that is obtained from the patient or from another individual (also known as a donor graft). Newer approaches are using special proteins called recombinant bone morphogenic protein and bone marrow aspirates. Bone marrow may be harvested from the individual’s pelvic bone or femur and injected directly into the fracture site guided by external imaging. If there is an infection, it will require surgical removal of any infected bone or tissue, followed by intensive antibiotic treatment.
Both conditions often require a long healing period after surgery, and depending on the physical condition of the patient and the extent of the complication, it can sometimes take a few surgeries to fix the problem. Rehabilitation often requires a patient to not bear weight on the affected leg for several weeks, similar to when the initial injury occurred.