Orthopedics is a field of medicine which deals with a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries. One of the most challenging and complex orthopedic condition is infected non-union in long bones. It is a state of failure of joining or union of bones in the body. They are more common at the site of open fractures which shows scarring, extensive bone loss and had multiple surgeries. The infected non-union bones affects all aspects of person’s life. It includes social, physical, mental, and financial well-being.
The symptoms vary for every person. However, most commonly seen symptoms consist of loss of bone, joint stiffness, shortening, persistent infection, and disability. The person feels to have lack of confidence to face other people. This is a very serious health issue and should be dealt with great concern. The primary goal include complete removal of infection before achieving bone union.
The basic treatment management plan includes two processes- debridement procedure and fixation procedure. Prior to treatment, the person is kept under general anesthesia. In debridement method, the infected or dead tissue from the affected site is removed. It uses surgical tools to reach the site of infection and hence treat it. Afterwards, bone fixation method is opted. It can be achieved in two ways-internal fixation or external fixation. Depending upon the needs of the patient, the fixation process is confirmed. These processes aim to reconstruct the dead tissues and bones. The affected bones are initially trimmed to their normal shape and then joined together. The union of bones is done with the help of implants such as screws, pins or rods which are placed inside or outside of skin. It takes about 1-2 hours for the surgery to complete.
After the treatment procedures are over, the site is covered with proper dressing to avoid any further chances of infection. Regular cleaning of wound is recommended. Applying hot and cold packs on the operated area is good and enhances healing. Physiotherapy and medications together help to restore the mobility and functionality of bones. It builds confidence in the person and encourages to do normal daily activities. There may occur some complications while recover such as irregular bone alignment, swelling, bleeding, and infection. The duration for recovery procedure is about 2-3 months. Later, the person can return to work and live normally.