Orthopedic Center with Orthopedist and Arthroplasty Services

TREATMENT AND SYMPTOMS | WHAT IS PSEUDOARTHROSIS?

Most people have experienced a bone fracture at least once in their lives, many of them may have suffered from arthrosis as a result. As common as bone fractures are, recovery isn’t always as smooth as many would hope.

 

The natural healing process that helps you regain the strength and mobility in your bones may not function the same way each time. Hence, pseudarthrosis may be the outcome.

Today, we’re looking into this condition, its causes, and how we can treat it for you.

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What is pseudarthrosis?

Pseudarthrosis refers to a complication that occurs after a bone breakage or fracture. Also referred to as nonunion or false joints, this is the lack of fracture healing. It’s caused by the non-consolidation of fractures or arthrosis. When there’s poor healing of the bone after a fracture, an abnormal joint forms between the ends of a fracture and is a fairly common occurrence.

Atrophic or hypertrophic pseudarthrosis

What differentiates atrophic pseudoarthrosis from hypertrophic pseudoarthrosis is whether the fracture is vascularized or not. In the latter case, the fractured bones are well-vascularized, but in the former first there is a deficiency in vascularization.

Normal fracture healing relies on vascularization—which works to heal injuries in the vasculature and supplies blood to the affected region.

How does it occur?

When a fracture occurs, consolidating is one of the first and most important steps. This refers to the bone bonding that enables the normal healing process to begin fusing the bone fragments. This process can occur in two ways: through a natural process or through primary consolidation.

In the natural process, bonding occurs through the formation of bone callus. When the bone is fractured, bleeding in the region subsequently forms cartilage that calcifies. This leads to the formation of the bone callus and begins gluing the bone back into its original state.

On the other hand, primary consolidation is an intervention in which the orthopedic doctor uses the compression between the fragments to bond the bones together—whenever it’s possible.

The fracture may take anywhere between two weeks to up to five months to heal, depending on your age, physical health, or the affected bone. Most patients recover within a maximum of three months and can continue their activities as before.

A diet rich in proteins—such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs—contributes to the consolidation process. Hence, certain lifestyle changes are necessary to regain your health and functionality.

When the fracture recovers in longer than usual time, it is said to be suffering from a delay in healing. However, if five progressive radiographs don’t display any bone callus formation, it’s a clear indication that pseudarthrosis is occurring. The fractures for which pseudarthrosis mostly occurs is the tibia.

Causes of pseudarthrosis

Pseudarthrosis is usually caused when the wrong treatment is used to heal a fracture. However, it can also even occur when the appropriate procedures have been applied. Interestingly, there’s no common trigger among these causes that leads to pseudarthrosis, but some factors can facilitate its occurrence. These are:

● Deficient blood circulation: Since bone healing relies on healthy blood circulation, a deficiency can lead to the improper healing of fractures, as is the case for diabetic patients,
● Phospho-calcium metabolism and vitamin deficiency: These have been identified as a cause of pseudoarthrosis, but many experts today question its viability as a cause,
● Syphilitic people, smokers, arteriosclerotic, renal and diabetic people, or people with poor blood circulation are more prone to pseudarthrosis. When fracture consolidation delays for a considerable time, their existing and underlying health conditions could make them vulnerable in the face of a procedural mistake;
● Ignorance about the occurrence of a fracture in the body itself: A lack of medical intervention and leaving fractures untreated can be a major facilitator in pseudarthrosis.

Surgical treatment of pseudarthrosis

Pseudarthrosis is a complex fracture and, hence, requires surgical intervention for relief. Through the latest advancements in medicine, we’re able to provide non-surgical and minimally-invasive treatments for the condition.

The procedure may involve the placement of a graft, plate, or screw without detaching the bone fragments. This allows the formation of bone callus and encouraging natural healing. Through the treatment, the patient is often able to make an efficient recovery, enabling them to return to daily activities and sports.

Post-surgical procedures

There is frequent confusion regarding the removal of surgical plates and materials after the procedure. The only time the removal is mandatory is when the body begins to reject the material and it begins to protrude or cause pain.

Normally, a maximum period of two years post-surgery is expected to allow us to assess whether the total adaptation has been established or whether withdrawal is necessary.

Diagnosis

In the case of pseudoarthrosis, the person tends to have difficulty in flexion-extension, pain in the region, loss of strength, and even edema. If you suspect that you may have pseudarthrosis and are experiencing similar symptoms, please seek out a specialist.

Schedule an appointment with us for in-depth diagnoses and effective treatments.

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Nossa Estrutura

Unidade Higienópolis

Sala de espera com amplo espaço e conforto para a família que espera por uma consulta de ortopedia geral ou ortopedia infantil.

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Unidade Higienópolis
A clínica Artroplastias do ortopedista em São Paulo, Dr. Felipe possui sala para acolher o paciente e família.

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Unidade Higienópolis

Sala para um exame ortopédico completo, cujo objetivo é o diagnóstico preciso. A indicação de uma artroplastia de quadril se baseia no estudo clínico e radiográfico cuidadoso do paciente.

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