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J Orthop Trauma. 2011 Feb;25(2):e15-20. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e3181e3a0d3.

Fracture consolidation in a tibial nonunion after revascularization: a case report.

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Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Poor vascularity can be a potential contributor in the development of fracture nonunion. There is little evidence in orthopaedic literature suggesting that poor vascularity alone may lead to the development of nonunion. Experimental models addressing the effects of ischemia on fracture healing have yielded conflicting views. The case presented here describes a patient who sustained a Type IIIC tibial shaft fracture requiring vascular repair and soft tissue coverage. The patient developed an aseptic, atrophic nonunion. In preparation for operative management of her nonunion, the patient underwent angioplasty in the lower extremity for stenotic vessels. Shortly thereafter, the patient's nonunion went on to unite with no additional intervention, suggesting that revascularization alone resulted in this dramatic progress to union. Further prospective clinical studies may reveal a role for the use of vascular evaluation and intervention in the diagnosis and treatment of nonunion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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