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Non-union bone fracture

Nature Outline: Non-union bone fracture

Bone fractures that fail to heal with conventional treatment are known as non-union bone fractures. They cause prolonged pain and disability. Work is under way to improve the success rate of surgical repair and to accelerate the bone-healing process.

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Bridging the gap: Cell therapies for non-union bone fracture

Around 8 million people a year in the United States are reported to have fractured a bone. In most of those cases, the bone will heal within a normal timeframe. But when a fracture doesn’t heal properly, it’s known as a non-union bone fracture. Such breaks can drastically decrease a person’s quality of life, but regenerative medicine may provide a solution.

This animation explores cell therapies that are being developed to encourage blood-vessel growth across fractures, in an effort to kick-start the healing process.