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A 44-year-old male asked:

Can an ortho normally tell exactly the reason why a fracture isn't healing by x-rays or ct scan ?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hutchinson
Orthopedic Surgery 34 years experience
Not exactly: There are lots of reasons that bone healing can be delayed. Some you can see on x-ray but some deal with the in visual such as nutrition, age, smoking history, and other medications.
Dr. Brian Chimenti
Sports Medicine 27 years experience
NO: Xray and ct scan give a clue, but do not tell why a fracture is not healing (only whether it is or isn't healing). Other info including health, smoking status, etc. Are also used to try to answer this question. Orthopedic surgeons use a variety of tools for diagnosis...But it boils down to an educated guess.

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Last updated Jul 15, 2017

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