Pseudarthrosis, also known as nonunion, is a medical condition in which a bone fracture fails to heal properly, resulting in a false joint. Normally, when a bone is fractured, the body naturally repairs the damage by producing new bone tissue that connects the broken ends. However, in pseudarthrosis, the bone fails to properly heal, and instead, fibrous tissue forms in the gap between the broken ends of the bone. This results in a weakened area of the bone that can be prone to further injury and pain.
Symptoms of pseudarthrosis can include pain, swelling, and difficulty using the affected limb. Diagnosis is typically made through imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans.
Pseudarthrosis, or nonunion, can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Inadequate blood supply: A bone requires an adequate blood supply to heal properly. If there is insufficient blood flow to the area of the fracture, it can impede the healing process.
Infection: An infection in the bone or surrounding tissues can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of pseudarthrosis.
Poor nutrition: A diet lacking in essential nutrients, such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D, can weaken bones and impede the healing process.
Smoking: Smoking can impair blood flow to the bone, decrease bone density, and delay the healing process.
Treatment for pseudarthrosis may involve surgery to remove the fibrous tissue and promote bone healing. The surgery may involve the use of bone grafts or bone stimulators to encourage new bone growth. In some cases, braces or casts may be used to immobilize the affected area and promote healing.