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Fibula non union fracture
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Fibula non union fracture

My friend was in an auto accident almost a year ago.  She has not been able to walk just as long.  There have been multiple surgeries, the last was a bone graft in july, she is using a bone stimulator and there seems to be no change.  All the bones in the extremity are becoming weaker.  I want to help her but I am unsure how.  
A doctor taday wrote lis fracture.  I dont know what this means.  I want to take her to someone who can help with bones that won't heal.  What about replacing the bone with a manufactured one ?
Please help she is only 26.  I am afraid she may never walk again.
Tags: Lis fracture, non-union, fibula, extremity, fracture
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Appreciate your concern for your friend
Can you be little more informative on the fractures sustained and the surgical procedures performed.
This could help in analyzing her problem to some extent.
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Avatar_n_tn
12/10/2006: Auto accident: Right leg: fractured metatarsals, compound fracture of ankle (tibial) ,fracture fibula, fracture in knee (tib-fib bone?).
12/10/2006: pins put into foot, 2 screws into tibial, plate and screws into fibula, plate and screw into knee (tib-fib bone).  
1/31/2007: major blood clot right leg, form knee to abdomen. Cath needed. filter inserted.
3/15/2007: fusion of metatarsals (pins)
7/31/2007: bone graph in fibula. Bone harvested from right heal. 3 - 4 weeks after surgery started use of bone stimulator. use 30 mins. per day everyday.

I hope this information helps. Let me know if more is needed. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
The fracture you mention is a nasty one. Since the foot as well as the tibia and fibula were broken to the point that a fusion and bone grafts were required tells me that the one or more of the lower leg bones (tibia/fibula) needed repair that included requiring the bone to re-grow and fill in gaps in the bone where the bone was crushed.  These types of fractures can take a year or longer to heal depending on the person's ability to heal, general state of health, and bone density at the time of the injury.  The bone graft was only done a few months ago, so it is "young" yet.  Give it at least 6 months to BEGIN showing a good growth. It is not unheard of to take a year or longer after the graft for the bone to heal to the point that you may walk without help.  Healing is an idividual thing.  You might have her tested for bone density (DEXA), get some blood tests for vitamin D, calcium, vitamin K, and phosphorus to get a good idea of her bone condition.  A good form of passive physical therapy that she may be able to start now would be walking around in a swimming pool where the water displaces the weight on the leg and would help to build bone and strengthen leg muscles.  Ask the doctor before beginning this or any sort of exercise because you can rebreak the leg and cause much damage if you begin too soon.   Waiting is a difficult thing to do.  It seems to be taking forever; but you need patience to allow the bone to heal at it's own rate. It will take a while, but it will get there.   good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
The past history suggest a bad injury. Your friend had sustained fracture  of both bones with tibia close to the ankle. Along with this she also had fracture of metatarsals. All of them were managed with surgical intervention.
She also had a huge blood clot in the thigh   up to the abdomen.Can you be informative about the diagnosis explained by your doctor regarding this.
Bone grafting was done for fibula using the bone graft harvested from the heel.
Probably it would be tibia that was managed with bone graft rather than fibula. Usually the lower end of fibula is used for the bone graft. As  the absence of fibula in the distal site do  not affect the ankle movements.
She requires a good moral support, and in consultation with your doctor, try to mobilise her. Further she can take calcium and multi vitamin supplements.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for stating the obviouse. No, it is the Fibula that was managed with graph using heel bone.  I have seen the xrays.  I'm aware the fibula doesn't affect the movement of the ankle. However she has been unable to walk for almost a year and everything has tighten up or has scar tissue. She has been on a multi vitamin and calcium citrate with vitamin D for about 11 months. She has recently seen a specialist at Pennsylvania Hospital and the Dr was awe struck at the amount of damage done.  I feel as though she only has about a 18 month window to get the help she needs, before her disability is permanent. As for the blood clot, i'm unsure what more (information) you are looking for.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi swike,
The details about the blood clot you mentioned could  be due to fracture, tear in the blood vessels, rupture of the muscle  and so in. Since you mentioned of it extending onto the abdomen, it would have been better if details about its progression  was known.
Are the repeat x-rays been taken in the recent past. What do they report.
How good is the physiotherapy your friend is receiving. If it looks like foot drop, then options for improving her ankle by secondary reconstruction have to looked in. With this bad crush injury, incidence of nerve injury may be high. Hence she has to be evaluated for her nerve status.
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