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Older patients are commonly at a higher risk of experiencing a bone fracture. Complications during fracture healing, including delayed union and non-union, can arise as a result of a multitude of patient and treatment factors. This review describes those factors which contribute to a greater risk of delayed union and non-union with particular reference to the elderly population and discusses therapies that may enhance the fracture healing process in the hope of reducing the incidence of delayed union and non-union. Increasing age does seem to increase the risk of delayed union or non-union. In addition, smoking and the treatment of post-fracture pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) put the patient at the greatest risk, while ultrasound therapy appears to be a non-invasive, effective treatment option to reduce the risk of delayed union or non-union. The use of growth factors and of stem cells and the role of surgery are also discussed.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.07.014

Type

Journal article

Journal

Maturitas

Publication Date

10/2016

Volume

92

Pages

49 - 55

Addresses

Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Oxford University, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Windmill Road, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK. Electronic address: foulkeba@gmail.com.

Keywords

Humans, Treatment Outcome, Ultrasonic Therapy, Fracture Healing, Aged, Male