If you "only" have a SOFT TISSUE INFECTION after complex Orthopaedic Trauma and fixation you can consider yourself "lucky". Usually antibiotics will do the job for you of clearing the infection. However if the infection does not go away in a reasonable period of time then there are chances that it is not a superficial infection of soft tissue and is involving deep tissue including bone and metalwork you have in. If this is the case you are moving into the Unpredictable complications group and we will very likely have to call in the heavy machinery.
Expected healing time for simple soft tissue infections is in the range between 1-3 months.
HYPERTROPHIC NON-UNION( non-union describes non-healing fracture for more than 6-9 months ) is in the vast majority of cases a result of a "not stiff enough" construct and it can be either because of the plate, nail or frame. Usually only "stiffening" of the construct is required, but if the metalwork is in place for longer than 6-9 months, replacing it is usually recommended due to the possible failure of the metalwork in that time. It is always a race between the metal to fail and the fracture to heal. Do not forget that.
Expected healing time for hypertrophic non-union is in the range between 3-6 months.
LIMB LENGTH DISCREPANCY can be a consequence of trauma with bone loss, growth arrest or slowing down due to the growth plate injury. People can also be born with a condition which will leave them with different lengths of extremities. We will be focusing on the first two reasons. If one of your legs is shorter than the other it probably won't affect you significantly on the short term, but on a longer term theres will be consequences. One of the main one is lower back pain, as a result of a tilted pelvis. If you cannot see your pelvis being tilted it does not mean you are not affected it. If your leg feels shorter or you have had a trauma with bone loss or a growth plate injury in your childhood a consultation with your GP and further investigations are due.
Expected healing time for limb length discrepancy is determined by the length of the defect. Simple calculation is: 10 days of initial compression of osteotomy side, 1 day of distraction of fragments per 1mm of defect and then 1 month of consolidation time per 1cm of defect (for example 4cm of a defect: 10 days (initial compression) + 40days (lengthening) + 4 months (consolidation) altogether 170 days) It can take longer if consolidation does not go as expected but this is assessed by X-rays or CT scan.