The Florida Hospital Orthopaedic Institute Fracture Care Center (FCC) is a leading destination for the diagnosis and treatment of complex musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Noted orthopaedic pioneer J. Dean Cole, MD, Medical Director for the Center, has assembled a group of experienced surgeons and medical professionals. Our team strives to quickly address all patients’ medical concerns, putting them on the road toward healing.
And while healing from a fracture is certainly a good thing, the body’s natural healing process may result in an abnormal, incomplete union. Known as “malunions,” these improperly healed fractures may cause additional problems and impairments.
Should a malunion develop, the newly healed directions may lead the bones to settle into bent angles, or rotate out of their correct locations. The fractured ends may overlap, leading to bone shortening. The fractures may also displace joint surfaces, reducing the smoothness of the present cartilage.
Malunion patients may experience pain, swelling, tenderness, and joint instability and/or degeneration, including difficulties in bearing weight. It’s not uncommon for one malunion to bear multiple deformities. If left untreated, malunions in the legs may result in limited mobility or an abnormal gait. Degenerative conditions, such as nerve damage or degenerative arthritis, may affect the limb(s), as well.
Utilizing Minimally Invasive Surgical Malunion Treatment
Fortunately, Dr. Cole and his fellow orthopedic specialists are uniquely skilled at diagnosing and treating malunions of fractures. FCC physicians have long practiced a minimally invasive approach toward surgical malunion treatment.
This approach uses small incisions often the size of pin holes, which avoids unnecessary tissue and muscle damage. This leads to impressive benefits, as the patient’s healing process is given a jumpstart. Risks for infections and complications are reduced, the recovery period is much quicker, and there is a much lower chance that additional malunions may form.
On the following pages, you’ll find further details regarding malunion treatments provided by the Fracture Care Center. However, if you suspect that a malunion has developed, we encourage you to contact us.
As the Medical Director of the Florida Hospital Orthopaedic Institute Fracture Care Center (FCC), J. Dean Cole, MD and his surgical colleagues treat a wide range of fractures and deformities, both simple and complex. A leader in the field of orthopaedic traumatology, Dr. Cole has developed a full range of unique approaches for congenital and developmental deformities of the lower extremities. And as a pioneer in the field of orthopaedic traumatology, Dr. Cole has invented and fine-tuned a wide range of influential devices and techniques.
The Center’s surgical team specializes in malunion treatment. With this condition, fractures heal in abnormal, non-anatomical positions. For these particular fractures, Dr. Cole and his colleagues utilize a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) approach.
Benefits of MIS Malunion Treatment
This emphasis on MIS has enabled the Center’s surgeons to address acute fractures, post-traumatic deformities, and even “nonunions,” in which fractures don’t heal at all. In particular, injuries and conditions affecting the pelvis and the surrounding area benefit from these procedures. And as patients heal and regain mobility, they’re able to maintain their lifestyles. Upon completion, patients’ affected bones are properly aligned.
With minimally invasive surgery, surgeons employ smaller incisions. This provides a well-maintained blood supply for patients’ bones and soft tissues. The benefits of this malunion treatment include more rapid healing and recovery periods, thus ensuring that patients can quickly return to normal activities. With the smaller incisions, there are fewer skin wounds, scars, and infections, as well as a lower risk for blood loss.
State-of-the-Art Techniques & Applications
Dr. Cole, has invented a wide array of devices and applications utilized by surgeons worldwide. A fracture injury, such as a malunion, may particularly benefit from these applications. Dr. Cole’s groundbreaking technique, the “fibula intramedullary nail” employs a specially designed cable mechanism utilized to treat malunion cases and associated bone-related conditions.
This application, primarily utilized for lower extremities, such as the ankle joint, tibia and fibula syndesmosis, offer stable, secure methods to repair separated bone fragments. Typically, orthopaedic procedures for similar fractures may require additional surgery to remove any hardware, such as fixed screws. However, Dr. Cole’s cable mechanism eliminates the need for additional procedures.
If left untreated, malunions can result in pain, discomfort and the loss of mobility. Please contact us.