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Question
Posted by: gerrie | 2008/09/14

fractured arm doesnt want to heal

my dads humerus (i think, the top part of his arm) broke 30 years ago in a car accident.he got a operation with screws and a steel plate, but it never really healed good enough and was always weaker than the other arm. last year he broke it again, a straight, clean fracture, got another operation with a new plate and screws, but now his arm doesnt want to grow back together and all that is holding it together, are the screws and plate. the doc did inject some bone building matter, but still no growth. what can he do now and who can he talk to about this? is there a bone transplant operation and where can he get it? we are in the western cape, george. please help. thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHealthy Bones

Dear Gerrie
This is quite a difficult situation to comment on. The only suggestion I can make is to get a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon. Sometimes the bones just don't heal as we want them to. Remember that your dads arm already has more porous bone as a result of the previous steel plate and screws immobilising the bone itself. The quality of the bone is therefore already weakened and the present fracture will take much longer to heal. It sounds as if you had a knowledgeable doctor attend to this- maybe he can give a better opinion than I can?

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