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Old 01-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
gatling OP
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Femur Non Union

Anybody in here have any experience with femur non unions? I crashed a little over 3 years ago and broke my femur in two places. They put on a plate. Top fracture healed; bottom one did not. After about a year the plate broke. I had a second surgery in which they removed the plate and used a rod. You can guess where this story is going. It, too, recently broke. I go back to the doc tomorrow to find out what the game plan is for Round 3. Just wondering if anyone here has also gone through this and what you found. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #2
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I am recovering from a broken femur fixed with a intramedullary rod. Only 8 weeks in, so no first hand experience with non-union, but I have found a lot of info on www.http://ehealthforum.com/. There are several ortho docs that post there, and lots of chatter about broken femurs. HTH and hopefully you heal this time around.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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Being of critical mind, I'll ask, are you too active on it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
gatling OP
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Originally Posted by 74C5 View Post
Being of critical mind, I'll ask, are you too active on it?
I don't think so. I adhered to the doctor's guidance both times.

But thanks for the question.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gatling View Post
I don't think so. I adhered to the doctor's guidance both times.

But thanks for the question.
Do you smoke? Had a friend with tibial non-union, and a boss who'd suffered from vertebral non-union. From what I read and was told nicotine is a huge factor in non-union.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gatling View Post
I don't think so. I adhered to the doctor's guidance both times.

But thanks for the question.
Do you smoke? Had a friend with tibial non-union, and a boss who'd suffered from non-union in his shoulder. Both were told it was the smoking. From what I read and was told nicotine is a major factor in non-union.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 74C5 View Post
Being of critical mind, I'll ask, are you too active on it?
I'm fairly certain that his the hardware is not engineered based on the assumption that the bone was not healing.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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I don't smoke, I don't drink very much, and I did everything I was told to do. What I was really looking for is if anyone has had this problem and what their experience has been.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:40 PM   #9
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My tibia didn't want to heal. I don't smoke, but did have a thing for soft drinks (phosphoric acid doesn't help at all with bone healing and calcium retention). I was also probably WAY too active, so the two broken ends were never very stable against each other even though there's a stick of titanium in there now.

Have you tried any kind of ultrasound to stimulate bone growth?
http://www.exogen.com/patients/

Oddly enough, they feature the pic of a motorcycle rider on the page...
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:44 AM   #10
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I had 12 full thickness fractures in the tib and one in the fib, also one in the scalphoid. Non unions in the scalphoid and tibia. 6 months in a wheelchair etc... they finally did electrical bone growth stimulation. Seemed to work for me.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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My femur was broken August 10, 2011, by an SUV that plowed into me. The orthopedists bolted me back together with a titanium rod that runs inside the bone from my knee to my hip. I was hobbling around on it with a walker within a week, followed soon by crutches, and after six weeks I was cleared to walk on it with a cane. The docs were pleased at how quickly the bone was remodeling. It's now fully healed and back to normal.

Obviously people heal differently. But if it's been three years and you're still having trouble with it, you might want to seek out a really good orthopedist.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:53 AM   #12
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I had a stainless rod in my right femur for 19 years. It was the result of a broadside hit from a car. I had no issues at all, and had the rod removed to make way for a new hip. Took 88 swings of a 3-lb. surgial slide hammer to get it out, too. I carried it on my KLR for a couple of years to use as a prop rod for tire work. It's bolted to the luggage rack just below the license plate.



As has been stated, it might just come down to the differences in healing between individuals.

Good luck!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bigger Al View Post
I had a stainless rod in my right femur for 19 years. It was the result of a broadside hit from a car. I had no issues at all, and had the rod removed to make way for a new hip. Took 88 swings of a 3-lb. surgial slide hammer to get it out, too.
Good luck!!
Well that rod on the back of the bike would be a fantastic conversation starter! Plus I'm sure that you feel a rather closer relationship to it as compared to the rest of your tool set : )
Regarding the 88 swings.....I used to work in radiology in hospitals many years ago and we'd often be called in to the OR for many ortho procedures.....and I can tell you you'd be shocked at how much your body and leg were being abused to get that beast out. I was always amazed at how well people just heal right up afterwards considering the surgical procedure. Bones do require tools like 'slide hammers'.

As far as the man with non union femur, even bone grafts can be employed. Hoping you some better luck.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #14
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Well that rod on the back of the bike would be a fantastic conversation starter! Plus I'm sure that you feel a rather closer relationship to it as compared to the rest of your tool set : )
Regarding the 88 swings.....I used to work in radiology in hospitals many years ago and we'd often be called in to the OR for many ortho procedures.....and I can tell you you'd be shocked at how much your body and leg were being abused to get that beast out. I was always amazed at how well people just heal right up afterwards considering the surgical procedure. Bones do require tools like 'slide hammers'.

As far as the man with non union femur, even bone grafts can be employed. Hoping you some better luck.

I had no idea how they were planning to remove the thing before surgery. I'd been told that large-scale ortho work had more in common with carpentry than medicine, but didn't really believe it until afterwards. My wife noticed some really strange bruising on my right thigh a few days post-procedure. She commented that it almost looked like hand prints. Turns out it was where the other surgeon was holding onto me while the slide hammer was being used.


The rod is a good conversation starter.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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That sucks.
I spiral fractured my right femur, 2 IM rods, inserted supracondularly.
Had them in for just over a year and had them removed - slide hammer I am told.

Where is the fracture site?
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