Classification and external resources
ICD-10 M84.1, M96.0
MeSH C21.866.404.468.627

Pseudarthrosis (or "nonunions") is the movement of a bone at the location of a fracture resulting from inadequate healing of the fracture.

Pseudarthrosis can also result from a developmental failure.



The Greek stem "pseud" means false and "arthrosis" means joint. "Pseudarthrosis", then, is a false joint. In the case of a 'non-union', a fracture that does not heal, this is often evidenced by the obliteration of the medullary cavity of a long bone at the site of the non union. This non union is not a true joint, and has no ligamentous support, but often has motion, and remodels into a rounded end that looks like a true joint.


The point of movement can be treated with electrical stimulations that hopefully will trigger the bone cells to form the hydroxyapatite structure that keeps bones from bending too much. More recently, non-unions are treated by bone grafting, internal fixation, and external fixation, including a technique pioneered by Ilizarov, used to compress the bones at the site of the fracture.[1] Ilizarov originally used bicycle spokes. See Ilizarov apparatus for a description of the modern apparatus.

Grafting This is using donor bone or autologous bone (harvested from the same person undergoing the surgery) as a stimulus to bone healing. The presence of the bone is thought to cause stem cells in the circulation and marrow to form cartilage, which then turns to bone, instead of a fibrous scar that forms to heal all other tissues of the body. Bone is the only tissue that can heal without a fibrous scar.

Fixation The use of metal plates, pins, screws, and rods, that are screwed or driven into a bone, to stabilize the broken bone fragments.


  1. ^ Niedzielski K, Synder M (2000). "The treatment of pseudarthrosis using the Ilizarov method". Ortop Traumatol Rehabil 2 (3): 46–8. PMID 18034140. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pseudarthrōsis — (v. gr.), 1) bei nicht eingerichteten od. einrichtbaren Verrenkungen in der Nähe des Gelenks sich bildende ähnliche Verbindung; 2) bei nicht verheilten Knochenbrüchen bleibende Beweglichkeit der unverheilten Bruchenden gegen einander …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pseudarthrosis — Pseudarthrōsis (grch.), falsches Gelenk (s. Gelenk) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • pseudarthrosis — A new, false joint arising at the site of an ununited fracture. SYN: false joint, pseudoarthrosis. [pseud + G. arthrosis, a joint] * * * pseud·ar·thro·sis .süd är thrō səs also pseu·do·ar·thro·sis .süd ō n, pl thro·ses thr …   Medical dictionary

  • pseudarthrosis — nearthrosis; n. a ‘false’ joint. Congenital pseudarthrosis occurs in childhood, when an apparent fracture in the tibia or clavicle is followed by non union. A pseudarthrosis can form in adulthood when a fracture fails to unite and the bone ends… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • pseudarthrosis — noun a) A bony, flexible structure, resembling a joint, sometimes found after a poorly united fracture b) A groove in a block of stone that simulates a joint Syn: false joint …   Wiktionary

  • pseudarthrosis — n. false joint , medical condition in which a long bone softens and fractures and cannot heal properly …   English contemporary dictionary

  • pseudarthrosis — pseud·arthrosis …   English syllables

  • pseudarthrosis — …   Useful english dictionary

  • nearthrosis — A new joint; e.g., a pseudarthrosis arising in an ununited fracture, or an artificial joint resulting from a total joint replacement operation. SYN: neoarthrosis. [G. neos, new, + arthrosis, a jointing] * * * ne·ar·thro·sis .nē är thrō səs n …   Medical dictionary

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