Monday, December 13, 2010
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Broken bones don't always heal as expected. The December issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers what hampers bone healing and extra steps that can be taken to stimulate bone growth.
A bone break that hasn't healed after six to nine months is called a nonunion fracture. Several factors can contribute to nonunion fractures. One reason can be inadequate stabilization, where the cast, plates or screws allowed the fractured bones to move. Inadequate blood supply also is a concern. Trauma near the fracture site may have damaged blood vessels and impeded blood circulation, which is critical for bone growth. Some bones, such as the upper thighbone or the small wrist bone, normally have a less robust blood supply. Infection at the fracture site, the use of nicotine, inadequate nutrition, health problems including anemia or diabetes, and some medications all can interfere with bone healing.
Several treatment options are available to spur bone growth.
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