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Nonunion - consensus from the 4th annual meeting of the Danish Orthopaedic Trauma Society

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  1. The benefits of collaboration: the Nordic Arthroplasty Register Association

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  2. The interface between periacetabular osteotomy, hip arthroscopy and total hip arthroplasty in the young adult hip

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  1. 20-year trends of distal femoral, patellar, and proximal tibial fractures: a Danish nationwide cohort study of 60,823 patients

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  2. Avoidable 30-day mortality analysis and failure to rescue in dysvascular lower extremity amputees

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  3. Wound complications after ankle surgery. Does compression treatment work? A randomized, controlled trial

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  4. Bone shortening of clavicular fractures: comparison of measurement methods

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  • Danish Orthopaedic Trauma Society
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Nonunions are a relevant economic burden affecting about 1.9% of all fractures. Rather than specifying a certain time frame, a nonunion is better defined as a fracture that will not heal without further intervention.Successful fracture healing depends on local biology, biomechanics and a variety of systemic factors. All components can principally be decisive and determine the classification of atrophic, oligotrophic or hypertrophic nonunions. Treatment prioritizes mechanics before biology.The degree of motion between fracture parts is the key for healing and is described by strain theory. If the change of length at a given load is > 10%, fibrous tissue and not bone is formed. Therefore, simple fractures require absolute and complex fractures relative stability.The main characteristics of a nonunion are pain while weight bearing, and persistent fracture lines on X-ray.Treatment concepts such as 'mechanobiology' or the 'diamond concept' determine the applied osteosynthesis considering soft tissue, local biology and stability. Fine wire circular external fixation is considered the only form of true biologic fixation due to its ability to eliminate parasitic motions while maintaining load-dependent axial stiffness. Nailing provides intramedullary stability and biology via reaming. Plates are successful when complex fractures turn into simple nonunions demanding absolute stability. Despite available alternatives, autograft is the gold standard for providing osteoinductive and osteoconductive stimuli.The infected nonunion remains a challenge. Bacteria, especially staphylococcus species, have developed mechanisms to survive such as biofilm formation, inactive forms and internalization. Therefore, radical debridement and specific antibiotics are necessary prior to reconstruction. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2020;5:46-57. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.5.190037.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEFORT Open Reviews
Volume5
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)46-57
Number of pages12
ISSN2058-5241
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2020

ID: 59408043