Nonunion is a fairly common complication of fracture management, with an overall rate of about 3% for the skeleton as a whole and 9% for the tibia. High-energy injury fractures have a nonunion rate as high as 75%. Other factors that may lead to nonunion are inappropriate treatment, infection, and preexisting disease. The diagnosis of nonunion is based largely on clinical examination. Plain radiographs and tomograms, computed tomograms, and contrast imaging may be used to confirm nonhealing. Radionuclide imaging can help determine the presence of infection, an impaired blood supply, or impaired osteogenic activity at the fracture site. The treatment of ununited fractures is based on the principles of good fracture management: adequate immobilization, asepsis and soft tissue cover, osteoconduction (bone contact), osteoinduction (stimulation of bone growth), and metabolic well-being. New modalities for osteoinduction are promising adjuncts to standard treatment, the autogenous bone graft, but conclusive proof of efficacy in humans does not yet exist.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AB02300005
View details for PubMedID 2665320