A pathologic fracture is a bone fracture caused by disease that led to weakness of the bone structure. This type of fracture is most commonly due to the osteoporosis, but can also be due to other pathologies such as cancer, infection, bone disorders, etc. A malunion occurs when a fractured bone heals in an abnormal position. Depending on the severity, additional malunion symptoms can include reduced functioning in the affected area, pain, discomfort, swelling and bruising. Malunion fractures do not always require treatment because some will not cause impaired functioning.
If the altered bone positioning is significant and damaging, it often requires surgical treatment to allow for future mobility. A nonunion fracture occurs when a fractured bone fails to heal after an extended recovery period. In some cases a bone may require up to 9 months to completely heal. If your physician does not see any signs of progressive healing over this extended period of time, you may have a nonunion fracture. In these cases, the body does not produce the necessary bone tissue to repair the broken bone.
Treatment for a nonunion fracture include surgical and nonsurgical treatments by electric stimulation or bracing. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone caused by repeated application of force, often by overuse, such as running long distances. Stress fractures are most common in the weight bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. To reduce the bones weight bearing load until healing occurs, you may need to wear a walking boot or brace or use crutches. Although unusual, surgery is sometimes necessary to ensure complete healing of some types of stress fractures, especially those that can occur in areas with poor blood supply.