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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-60

Predisposing Factors and Outcome of Treatment of Non-Union of Long-Bone Fractures in Ibadan, Nigeria

Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, University College Hospital; Department of Surgery College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S O Ogunlade
Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, University College Hospital; Department of Surgery College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and objectives: This study was done to find out factors that contribute to development of Non-union of long bone fractures in this environment and the outcome of operative intervention. This is a prospective hospital based study. Patients and methods: All patients with Non-union of long bone fracture that presented in the hospital since January 1997 were recruited into the study. The data included causative factors, treatment given before presenting in the hospital, type of surgical procedure and result of treatment. The study was completed in December, 2005. Results: 78 patients presented with 87 Non-union of long bones. A male, female ratio of 1.6:1 was encountered while 69.2 per cent of the patients were below the age 55years. Road Traffic Accident accounted for 68 fractures (78.2 per cent) while duration of injury before presentation varies from 6 months to 22 months. Atrophic non-union occurred in 60 cases (69.0 per cent) and hypertrophic non-union in 21 cases. Non-union of the femur occurred in 33 cases (37.9 per cent) humerus in 24 cases (27.6 per cent), tibia in 16 cases (18.4 per cent), radius and ulna in 14 cases (16.1 per cent). The initial treatments of the fresh fracture in the 78 patients with non- union were by the traditional bonesetters in 51 patients (65.4 per cent) while the remaining fractures were treated by plaster of paris in hospital. Open reduction and internal fixation using plate and screws with bone grafting was the most common procedure for treating the non-union in most cases. Union was achieved in the entire patients following surgical intervention. Conclusion: Important factor that appears to contribute to non-union of long bone in this environment is soft tissue interposition between the fracture ends of the bone, which is found in all fractures with more than one diameter displacement. Another factor is interference with periosteal blood supply from disruption of soft tissue envelope as a result of high energy injuries which is also responsible for the displacements that were observed in these fractures. The treatment by traditional bone setters which entails daily massage of the fracture creating a macro movement at the fracture site is also an important contributing factor.

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