Surgical Repair of Nonunions

A nonunion is a permanent failure of a fracture to heal because the fracture shifts after it is set, blood flow to the fracture is interrupted, or the fracture becomes infected. A nonunion can result in the development of a pseudo-joint between the bones that grows cartilage and a joint cavity, or scar tissue. A nonunion is fixed with surgery to remove the tissue that develops in the fracture and re-setting the fracture, often using plates or screws, so that it does not shift and can heal properly.