The Three Most Common Pathologic Fractures

729 words - 3 pages

Wheeless, 2013 described pathologic fractures as occurring as a result of low energy impact through an area of weak bone with a pre-existing abnormality. An example of pathologic fractures would be fragility fractures, a common clinical manifestation of osteoporosis. The three most common fragility fractures are hip fractures, vertebral fractures and Colles’ fracture. A study published recently found that the single largest cause of fractures in the elderly population was fall from standing height (Amin, Achenbach, Atkinson, Khosla, & Melton, 2013) which is a definition of fragilty fractures according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
About 81% of all fractures in women aged 50 and ...view middle of the document...

These however, remain conflicting. Using a specified time period for every fracture is not ideal as the time for fracture union is dependent not only on the type of bone involved, but also injury-specific factors (Harwood et al., 2010). Clinically, however, a fracture is considered to be united when the patient is pain-free and the fracture is stable (Moulder & Sharma, 2008).
There are many systemic and local factors that lead to difficulties in fracture healing. These include immune depression, level of nutrition, high-energy trauma, extensive soft-tissue damage, infections, irradiation, loss of bone substance, and compromised blood supply (Matsumoto et al., 2008). Mechanical factors such as instability, poor immobilization and premature weight bearing also play a role in the healing process of a fracture (Panagiotis, 2005).
In established non-unions, fragment ends are sclerosed and medullary canals sealed off. Non-unions can mainly be classified as hypervascular/hypertrophic or avascular. Hypertrophic non-unions appear to be rich in blood supply. They typically form large calluses and are capable of mounting an adequate healing response. These fractures are often associated with inadequate immobilisation and premature weight bearing (Wheeless, 2013). Avascular non-unions,...

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