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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Lou

CH1 : Healed but not healed

Bande-dessinée montrant un plâtre sur une fracture de la malléole externe de la cheville sur radiographie

What does union means for a fracture?

Many of my clients think that a bony union means a healed bone. Unfortunately, it is not the case. Union on x-ray means that a primitive "glue" has formed naturally in the fracture to join the bone fragments together. This glue is strong enough to allow us to remove the cast and start moving gently, but it will take months before this glue absorbs enough minerals to become as strong as crazy glue and finally be considered healed or mature bone tissue. This healing process is gradual and there are physiotherapy protocols that can give a general idea of normal healing time and permitted activities at each stage of glue maturation. Forcing an immature glue beyond what is recommended can cause the glue to fail and bring the fracture healing back to square one. Note that the absence of pain is not always a reliable indicator that everything is fine, even if we are talking about a fracture. Having said that, stay safe and don't be like Elbro!


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