Bone transport and compression-distraction in the treatment of bone loss of the lower limbs.

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Policlinico G. B. Rossi, University of Verona, Italy.
Injury (Impact Factor: 2.46). 10/2010; 41(11):1191-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.injury.2010.09.030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A clinical series of 17 adult patients operated due to significant by bone loss of the long bones of the lower extremity (3 femurs and 11 tibias), is presented. Their management consisted of 6 bone transports (6 tibias) and 11 compression distraction procedures (3 femurs and 8 tibiae) using monolateral external fixators. Bone loss ranged from 3.9 cm to 14.7 cm. Mean healing time was 301 days with a mean healing index of 45.6 days for cm of lengthening achieved. The clinical and radiological results were excellent in 9, good in 6 and fair in 2 patients according to the utilised criteria of assessment. Consolidation was achieved in all but one patient who developed an aseptic stiff non-union. Two patients developed residual limb-length discrepancy less than 1.5 cm, three tibias ended up with less than 5° of valgus deviation. In two cases the half-pins were re-inserted due to early loosening. In two cases reoperation was needed for late bending of the callus after fixator removal. Three cases of bone transport and 1 case of compression distraction needed bone grafting at the docking site. Bone transport and compression-distraction are effective methods for treating bone loss in the lower extremity. It is suggested that the compression-distraction technique is preferable, since this is associated with a lower incidence of complications than bone transport procedures. The deciding factor, however, is the actual extent of the bone loss.

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