Pseudarthrosis – The False Joint

There are crucial reasons why serious treatment should follow immediately after a fracture occurs. Treatment of fractures should be a very careful process. There should be no bone fragments left scattered below the skin. After fractures, there are situations where the body perceives the broken bone fragments as disjointed bones. The fragmented bones are not allowed to associate with the healing and developmental processes of the body. This situation is often called a nonunion or pseudarthrosis. The body doesn’t make any attempt to facilitate the union of the bones.

It always results from incomplete or inadequate healing. It is also the result of a failure in the developmental processes of the bone. Surgeons make sure there are no remaining bone fragments scattered below the skin.

Causes of pseudarthrosis that are related to the patient:

  1. Age: Pseudarthrosis is common with patients that are old. The bone cells get weak with age, and the healing of the bone sometimes gets naturally incomplete.
  2. Nutritional deficiency: When a patient’s nutrition is poor or lacks calcium that makes the bone strong and facilitates good bone development, it leads to poor healing when fractures occur.
  3. Bad habits: Some patients have terrible eating habits. Some are addicted to nicotine, while some cannot do without alcohol. Such people are known to have incomplete healing when they have fractures. The regular intake of such substances reduce the attempts the body makes to unite the broken bones.
  4. Metabolic conditions. The condition of the patient’s blood parathyroid hormone level. This disturbs metabolic processes either when parathyroid glands wrongly make too much PTH or other events that cause increased production from parathyroid glands. Both processes come with the risk of bone weakening.

Causes of pseudarthrosis that are related to fracture:

  • Infection: When the fractured area is infected, it becomes a problem for the bone to heal adequately.
  • Limited blood supply: The bone requires an adequate supply of blood to heal properly. If the fracture of treatment prevents adequate blood supply, it disturbs the healing and bone developmental processes.
  • Bone loss at fracture site: When a bone is not found at the wounded part, it causes pseudarthrosis instantly.
  • Distraction at fracture site: At a part of the body where a patient has a fracture, there might be other more important parts of the body to attend to. For instance, a patient gets involved in an accident that leads to an injury of the ribs, and it affects the lungs. More attention will be given to the lungs and treatment of the rib bone is distracted.
  • Muscle damage at fracture site: Sometimes the muscles around the fractured site are damaged too and since the carry the nutrients that nourish the bones, bone healing and development will be disturbed.
  • Another situation that is a factor of pseudarthrosis is when soft tissues around fracture site are interpositioned.

Causes of pseudarthrosis that are related to treatment:

– Insufficient immobilization: The patient with a fractured bone should stay put. Moving that part frequently can reduce the speed of healing.

 – Inadequate reduction and wrongly applied fixation devices also cause pseudarthrosis.

If you have bone development problems or healing issues you can contact a specialist for your medical solutions to orthopedic problems.  There are companies that specialize in development of medical devices to help surgeons correct some of these problems, one such company is Orbbo.

Post Author: Ilana Herring