Classification and external resources
Specialty Osteology

A malunion is when a fractured bone doesn’t heal properly. Some ways that it shows is by having the bone being twisted, shorter, or bent. Malunions can occur by having the bones improperly aligned when immobilized, having the cast taken off too early, or never seeking medical treatment after the break.[1]

Malunions are painful and commonly produce swelling around the area, possible immobilization, and deterioration of the bone and tissue.[2]

Signs and symptoms

Malunions are presented by excessive swelling, twisting, bending, and possibly shortening of the bone.[3] Patients may have trouble placing weight on or near the malunion.[4] However, most commonly the presentation of a bend in the bone exhibits the diagnosis of a malunion.


An X-ray is essential for the proper diagnosis of a malunion. The doctor will look into the patient’s history and the treatment process for the bone fracture. Oftentimes a CT scan and probably a MRI are also used in diagnosis. MRI are used to check of cartilage and ligament issues that developed due to the malunion and misalignment. CT scans are used to locate normal or abnormal structures within the body and to help during procedures to guide the placement of instruments and/or treatments.[3][5][6]


Once diagnosed and located surgery is the most common treatment for a malunion. The surgery consists for the surgeon re-breaking the bone and realigning it to the anatomically correct position. There are different types and levels of extremity where it is possible that the bone will trimmed to allow full orientation at the fractured spot. Most often, either screws, plates or pins are used secure the new alignment. It is possible that a bone graft could be used to help with healing.[4]

After surgery make sure not to smoke or use any nicotine products as that affects the healing process by limiting blood flow. Also, don’t use any NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) as that will also affect the blood flow and the healing to the area of fracture.[2] Do not put weight on the area where the fracture and surgery occurred until informed by your doctor and that could lead to other and future problems. After surgery and the surgical stitches are removed you will be put into a cast to complete the healing process. During follow ups an X-ray or a CT scan may be used to verify that the fracture is healing properly and is now in the anatomical correct position.[2]

See also


  1. "Malunion". florida hospital. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "Foot and Ankle Malunion". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Malunion Fracture". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Malunion". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  5. "CT Scan (Computerized Tomography, CAT Scan)". Retrieved 25 March 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  6. "Malunion and Nonunion of Fracture". mdguidelines. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 4/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.