Broken bones or fractures are a common injury, and most can heal correctly with medical treatment. Bones are designed to repair themselves, creating new bone tissue to fuse the fracture together. In some cases, broken bones do not heal as expected and may need further treatment. Broken bones that do not repair correctly are called non-union fractures and may need surgery or other treatments.

Symptoms of a Non-Union Fracture

Minor and major bone fractures require immobilization of the bone to allow it to heal. Some severe injuries will require surgery or fixation, along with cast or braces to hold the bone in place. Healing time varies depending on the individual and the location and type of fracture. Smaller bones and fractures may heal in 3-4 months, while larger bones may take 6-12 months to repair fully. In most cases, symptoms of non-union fractures occur about six or more months after the injury and may include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Deformity
  • Instability
  • Unable to withstand weight or pressure

When a bone is not healing correctly, it could be for a variety of reasons. Infection, improper immobilization, lack of blood supply and health conditions can contribute to a non-union fracture.

Stem Cell Treatment for Non-Union Fractures

Surgery has been the standard treatment for non-union fractures, but it is not always necessary. Stem cell treatments are an option for some patients with broken bones that are slow to repair. The stem cells can be harvested from the patient, then purified and injected directly into the location of the fracture. The concentrated stem cells can stimulate bone repair – many patients can avoid invasive surgery and downtime with this minimally invasive, outpatient procedure.

Non-union fracture treatment with stem cell injections is performed by Dr. Steven Struhl to enhance bone healing at our clinics in New York and Westminster. If you have symptoms of a non-union fracture and want to explore non-surgical treatment, contact us at Regenerative Orthopaedics. Call us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Struhl to determine if stem cell treatment may be right for you.