Femur Non Union

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by gatling, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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    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.
    #1
  2. TimTowtdi

    TimTowtdi Been here awhile

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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.
    #2
  3. 74C5

    74C5 Long timer

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    Being of critical mind, I'll ask, are you too active on it?
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  4. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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    I don't think so. I adhered to the doctor's guidance both times.

    But thanks for the question.
    #4
  5. homerj

    homerj 742 Evergreen Terrace

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    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.
    #5
  6. homerj

    homerj 742 Evergreen Terrace

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    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.
    #6
  7. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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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.
    #7
  8. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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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...:huh
    #8
  9. Petzl

    Petzl Hmmmm...

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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.
    #9
  10. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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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.

    --mark
    #10
  11. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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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. :deal I carried it on my KLR for a couple of years to use as a prop rod for tire work.:lol3 It's bolted to the luggage rack just below the license plate.

    [​IMG]

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

    Good luck!!
    #11
  12. Racersteve

    Racersteve Adventurer

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    I don't have any tips, other than get a great orthopedic to give you the best advise and treatment possible. I have heard of TENS units stimulating the bone to encourage healing. Metaphysically, know that every rider on this forum wishes you well and speedy recovery so you can get out and do what we all like to do. Maybe spend 10 minutes a day relaxing and thinking about having your body heal. my 2 cents.
    #12
  13. everycredit

    everycredit Been here awhile

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    Don't do anything independently.

    Different procedures are used and surgeons try to be the least invasive possible. Some options are another rod (I assume the previous rod ran adjacent to the femur), a rod going down the middle of the femur, and bone grafts.
    #13
  14. D R

    D R ----

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    #14
  15. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    "Use a bigger hammer!"... my tank platoon sgt's answer to everything...

    OP, sorry to hear of the non-union. Is it time to consider a new doc?

    NFE
    #15
  16. astroguy

    astroguy Adventurer

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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.
    #16
  17. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    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. :lol3


    The rod is a good conversation starter. :deal
    #17
  18. gman350

    gman350 Been here awhile

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    Fire your doctor.

    I've broken my left leg 2 different times & both times the doctor I was originally seeing was not worth a damn.

    ER docs don't seem to be worth much either, they just want to patch you up enough to get rid of you, not fix you where you can walk again.

    Go find a good sports ortho that is used to fixing athletes that want to get well & return to sports.

    Wow, can't imagine how you broke the rod. The rod I have from the first break held up just fine for the 2nd break, pretty violent mc wreck, broke below the rod.
    #18
  19. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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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?
    #19
  20. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I'm fairly certain that his the hardware is not engineered based on the assumption that the bone was not healing.
    #20