A “problem fracture” is one that has not healed properly and can cause pain and/or limited mobility long after the initial injury. There are two most common types of problem fractures: nonunions and malunions.
Nonunions occur when a bone does not heal within six to nine months after a fracture. The most common symptom of this condition is pain at the site of the fracture, even long after the initial fracture. The pain may be constant, or may only become noticeable when the fractured bone is in use.
Malunions occur when a fracture has healed improperly, deforming or shortening the limb. Common symptoms of this condition include swelling, tenderness, limited mobility, difficulty bearing weight, and deformity.