There are 7.9 million fracture patients annually, and 10% of them experience nonunion and/or delayed union. These cause complications in the treatment of bone fractures and will have a significant financial impact on the patient. Knowledge of appropriate recovery is needed in order to avoid these burdens, which is why this post is all about bone stimulation. Areas that have poor blood supply such as the sesamoid bone and the base of the fifth metatarsal (pictured below) are particularly stubborn to fracture healing.
Fig: Jones Fracture. Note the perpendicular fracture line
Although delayed and impaired unions are sometimes mysterious, we do know that they can be a result of comprising inadequate fracture mobilization. Bone recovery can be administered by external (biomechanical) and internal (biological) stimuli. The capability to boost the healing of a fracture will have a great economic impact and it will be better for the patient’s mental and physical well-being. Different approaches to bone stimulation include electrical stimulators, low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, and extra-corporeal shockwaves. The ultrasonic bone stimulation has been proven to be more effective and less time consuming than the other two options.
When you come in to Dr. Pearl’s office, you can ask him if bone stimulation is appropriate for your fracture. With his professional advice, you’ll be on a smooth road to recovery.