Sometimes, the fracture heals abnormally and the aftereffect of such a condition is known as malunion. Malunion is a condition where fractured bone heals with misaligned joints and that results in improper functioning of that area along with other complications. Some of the signs of malunion include shortening of the bone than usual or the bone may be bent, twisted, or rotated in an unacceptable position.
Surgery is the best treatment option for malunion and the type of procedure used will depend upon the severity and condition of the affected site. During surgery, certain orthopedic implants are also used including External Fixators System and Bone Plates & Screws.
With malunion, a functional impairment may also be seen and that will depend upon the type of deformity and bone involved. Limping and pain are a few of the most common symptoms of malunion, rest will depend upon the affected site.
What are the Causes of Fracture Malunion?
There could be certain reasons resulting in malunion and some of them may include:
- Inadequate cast immobilization
- Premature weight bearing
- Ineffective surgical fixation of the fracture
Some of the common upper extremity fractures that may become malunion include fractures of distal radius, metacarpals, and phalanges.
Symptoms of Fracture Malunion
The symptoms of malunion are seen after the healing of the fracture. Below-mentioned are some of the symptoms that may be noticed in people with malunion:
- Bend or rotation of the fractured bone
- Difficulty in flexion or extension of the wrist while restricted normal use
- Scissoring of fingers onto or away from the adjacent ones
- Altering of the use or functioning of the affected limb
- Stiffness in the affected site
Diagnosis of Fracture Malunion
The doctor will first closely examine the medical history of the patient to conclude the reason for malunion. After that, an X-ray examination will be indicated to get a better picture of the malunion. Sometimes, the doctor may also suggest a CT scan to get a more detailed look at the condition and ensure better surgical planning.
Treatment of Fracture Malunion
Surgery is the option when it comes to the correction of fracture malunion. Internal or external fixation surgery may be performed depending upon the affected bone and severity of the condition. Plus, the treatment procedure will also depend upon the symptoms experienced by the patient.
Internal fixation involves the use of orthopedic implants like Bone Plates, Bone Screws, or rods to keep the bone fragments aligned and ensure correct healing. Besides the application of trauma implants, a cast may also be applied for additional support and better results.
Surgery using external fixation involves the use of an External Fixator System. During this surgical procedure, a strong frame is applied outside the affected area and attached to the bone using pins or wires.
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During malunion correction surgery, shortening or lengthening of bone may also be done before realignment. While on the other hand, certain surgical procedures may also involve bone grafting. After surgery, post-operative care and rehabilitation must also be taken seriously.