Many surgical techniques have been published on how to treat congenital pseudoarthrosis of the tibia (CPT). We combined Ilizarov’s fixator with intramedullary nailing of the tibia and developed a procedure which combines the advantages of both methods: Ilizarov’s high fusion rate with alignment control and the protection against refracture provided by the intramedullary nail. The results of this approach are presented and discussed.
Material and methods
Seven boys and three girls aged 3–14 years (mean age 8 years 2 months) were treated using our combined technique. In six cases, the CPT was associated with neurofibromatosis. Two strategies were adopted: in six cases, a compression was applied on the bone defect, and in four cases, segmental bone transportation was performed before the compression procedure. The final follow-up (1.2–6.6 years) included a clinical and radiological examination.
Tibial union was achieved in nine cases without bone grafting. In one case, tibial union still remains uncertain, despite intertibiofibular bone grafting and additional compression procedures. Thirteen overall complications were noted, including three valgus deformity of the ankle. Bone transportation failed to achieve complete limb lengthening in three cases. One deep infection occurred 4 years after removal of the external fixator. The treatment for this included nail removal and antibiotic therapy for 3 months. Despite a permanent protection of orthosis, a refracture occurred 2 years after nail removal, reverting to the initial level of pseudarthrosis. Another surgical attempt using the same method was then performed with a satisfactory result.
The association of Ilizarov’s technique and intramedullary nailing achieved and maintained tibial union in nine of ten patients at final follow-up. It also allowed correction of axial deformities and prevented refracture. Despite the short duration of the follow-up and a high rate of complications in our series, this method can be useful in many cases of CPT in which healing has failed to occur despite many previous surgeries.
Congenital pseudoarthrosis of the tibia; Ilizarov technique; Intramedullary nailing
The results of treatment of congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) are frequently unsatisfactory because of the need for multiple operations for recalcitrant nonunion, residual deformities, and limb-length discrepancies (LLD). Although the etiology of CPT is basically unknown, recent reports suggest the periosteum is the primary site for the pathologic processes in CPT. We hypothesized complete excision of the diseased periosteum and the application of a combined approach including free periosteal grafting, bone grafting, and intramedullary (IM) nailing of both the tibia and fibula combined with Ilizarov fixation would improve union rates and reduce refracture rates. We retrospectively reviewed 20 patients at two centers. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 4.3 years; range, 2–10.7 years). Union was achieved after the primary operation in all patients. Ten refractures occurred in eight of the 20 patients (two each in two patients, one each in six patients). Seven patients underwent seven secondary surgical procedures to simultaneously treat refracture and angular deformities. We used bisphosphonate as adjuvant therapy in three patients with refracture without subsequent refracture. We performed no amputations in these 20 patients. All patients were braced through skeletal maturity. Combining periosteal and bone grafting, IM nailing, and Ilizarov fixation is an effective treatment. IM nailing decreases the severity of subsequent fracture.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) is a rare disease. Epidemiological data are limited, and treatment of the condition is challenging. The purpose of our study was to gain epidemiological data on the incidence of CPT in Norway and to evaluate the treatment outcome of the disease.
During the period 1987–2006 22 patients with CPT were born in Norway (11 boys, 11 girls; mean age 15 years, age range 8–24 years) and are included in this study. During the same time period 1,183,380 live-births were registered by the Norwegian Birth Register. Primary surgical treatment was the Ilizarov method in 15 patients, intramedullary nailing in three patients, and plate osteosynthesis in two patients; two patients never developed a fracture and were treated with an orthosis.
The incidence of CPT based on this period was 1:53,000. The rate of primary healing was 66 % for the Ilizarov group. Primary healing occurred in three patients treated with intramedullary nailing and in none of the patients treated with plate osteosynthesis. However, almost all patients required additional surgery due to refracture or deformity correction. Currently, all 12 skeletally mature patients are considered to be healed, whereas two of the skeletally immature patients are still under treatment.
The incidence of CPT in Norway seems to be notably higher than that based on epidemiological data from other studies. Primary healing rates are satisfactory when treated either with an Ilizarov device or intramedullary nailing. Refractures must be avoided, and alignment of the leg must be maintained. Healing is usually achieved before skeletal maturity. However, residual deformities are common.
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia; Ilizarov method; Treatment; Epidemiology; Telescopic nail; External fixation
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of tibial lengthening using a reamed type intramedullary nail and an Ilizarov external fixator for the treatment of leg length discrepancy or short stature. This retrospective study was performed on 18 tibiae (13 patients) in which attempts were made to reduce complications. We used an Ilizarov external fixator and a nail (10 mm diameter in 17 tibiae and 11 mm in one tibia) in combination. Average limb lengthening was 4.19 cm (range, 2.5–5.5). The mean duration of external fixation was 12.58 days per centimetre gain in length, and the mean consolidation index was 40.53 (range, 35.45–51.85). All distracted segments healed spontaneously without refracture or malalignment. Gradual limb lengthening using a reamed type intramedullary nail and circular external fixation in combination was found to be reliable and effective and reduced external fixation time with fewer complications.
Conventional wire fixation of Ilizarov rings often fails to provide 90-90 configuration because of vital structures, which is essential for optimum stability. Hybrid assembly with half pins is an alternative. The aim of this study is to compare the results of Hybrid assembly with that of conventional classic circular transfixion wire Ilizarov assembly in 50 cases of infected nonunion of tibia between 1994 and 2003.
Materials and Methods:
This study includes two groups with 25 patients in each group: Group (A) conventional Ilizarov assembly and Group (B) hybrid Ilizarov assembly. Thirty-five cases developed infected nonunion following road traffic accidents while others after fall (6) bullet injury (4), infected osteosynthesis (3) and assault (2). There were 45 males and five females with mean age (18 to 56 years). All active cases (n=28) were treated by debridement including removal of implants in infected osteosynthesis. Twenty out of 22 cases in the quiescent group (non draining for last three consecutive months) were treated without open debridement; only two cases required open debridement for various reasons. All the cases were finally treated as atrophic aseptic nonunion with bone defect and were classified according to ASAMI.
Type B1: length of the limb maintained with bone gap (14 cases in both Group A and B) and Type B3: combined shortening with defect (five and seven cases in Group A and B respectively), were treated by bifocal osteosynthesis. Only one case in the B3 group was treated by trifocal osteosynthesis to shorten the time. Type B2: segments in contact with limb shortening (total nine cases; five and four cases in Group A and B respectively) with shortening up to 2 cm (total five cases) were treated with monofocal osteosynthesis while shortening up to 5 cm and beyond (total four cases) were treated with bifocal osteosynthesis.
The cases were followed up for two to six years and the results were evaluated by Paley criteria of bony results (union, infection, deformity and leg-length discrepancy) and Functional Results (significant limp, equinus rigidity of the ankle, soft-tissue dystrophy, pain and inactivity). In both the groups, 24 cases out of 25, had excellent to good bony result with Group B having twice more excellent result than Group A. Functional results were found to be similar in both the groups. Although persistence of infection and Grade III pin tract infection (PTI) were slightly higher in Group B, complications like delayed consolidation of regenerate, refracture, deformity and aneurysm of vessel were less in this group.
Discussion and Conclusion:
Ilizarov methodology produced a satisfactory result in infected nonunion of the tibia. Hybrid assembly was a fruitful advancement in the Ilizarov armamentarium. The results were comparable to Conventional assembly in terms of docking site problems, corticotomy site problems, PTIs and other problems.
Hybrid assembly; Ilizarov; infected nonunion; conventional (classic circular transfixion wire) Ilizarov assembly
Limb lengthening using Ilizarov external fixation is safe, but the consolidation phase tends to take too long. A method that can safely reduce the time spent in external fixation would help increase patient tolerance and comfort. We report our results of lengthening over nails (LON) method in which an interlocking nail was used along with an Ilizarov external fixator to reduce external fixation duration in limb lengthening. This is a retrospective study.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-seven lengthening surgeries were done with the LON method in 23 patients with 22 tibiae and five femora during the last 12 years. Length gain ranged from 1.5 cm to a maximum of 9.8 cm with a mean of 4.6 cm. The mean modified Paley difficulty score was 7.6 points. Fourteen associated procedures were performed in these patients, including equinus contracture releases, supracondylar osteotomies, ilizarov hip reonstruction and ankle fusion. We had a 29% rate of complications which included one problem, three obstacles and four complications with no serious deep intramedullary infections. Our rate of complications compares favorably with series reported in the literature. External fixation duration was reduced significantly to a mean of 17.8 days per cm.
A combination of intramedullary nailing along with external fixation significantly reduces external fixation time while maintaining low rate of complications. Great care needs to be taken to prevent pin track infection and deep intramedullary sepsis.
Consolidation time; intramedullary nails; lengthening over nails; limb lengthening
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) is one of the most challenging problems in pediatric orthopaedics. The treatment goals are osteosynthesis, stabilization of the ankle mortise by fibular stabilization, and lower limb-length equalization. Each of these goals is difficult to accomplish but regardless of the surgical options, the basic biological considerations are the same: pseudarthrosis resection, biological bone bridging of the defect by stable fixation, and the correction of any angular deformity. The Ilizarov method is certainly valuable for the treatment of CPT because it can address not only pseudarthrosis but also all complex deformities associated with this condition. Leg-length discrepancy can be managed by proximal tibial lengthening using distraction osteogenesis combined with or without contralateral epiphysiodesis. However, treatment of CPT is fraught with complications due to the complex nature of the disease, and failure is common. Residual challenges, such as refracture, growth disturbance, and poor foot and ankle function with stiffness, are frequent and perplexing. Refracture is the most common and serious complication after primary healing and might result in the re-establishment of pseudarthrosis. Therefore, an effective, safe and practical treatment method that minimizes the residual challenges after healing and accomplishes the multiple goals of treatment is needed. This review describes a multi-targeted approach for tackling these challenges, which utilizes the Ilizarov technique in atrophic-type CPT.
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia; Ilizarov osteosynthesis; Fibular pseudarthrosis
Segmental resection of bone in Giant Cell Tumor (GCT) around the knee, in indicated cases, leaves a gap which requires a complex reconstructive procedure. The present study analyzes various reconstructive procedures in terms of morbidity and various complications encountered.
Materials and Methods:
Thirteen cases (M-six and F-seven; lower end femur-six and upper end tibia -seven) of GCT around the knee, radiologically either Campanacci Grade II, Grade II with pathological fracture or Grade III were included. Mean age was 25.6 years (range 19-30 years).
Resection arthrodesis with telescoping (shortening) over intramedullary nail (n=5), resection arthrodesis with an intercalary allograft threaded over a long intramedullary nail (n=3) and resection arthrodesis with intercalary fibular autograft and simultaneous limb lengthening (n=5) were the procedure performed.
Shortening was the major problem following resection arthrodesis with telescoping (shortening) over intramedullary nail. Only two patients agreed for subsequent limb lengthening. The rest continued to walk with shortening. Infection was the major problem in all cases of resection arthrodesis with an intercalary allograft threaded over a long intramedullary nail and required multiple drainage procedures. Fusion was achieved after two years in two patients. In the third patient the allograft sequestrated. The patient underwent sequestrectomy, telescoping of fragments and ilizarov fixator application with subsequent limb lengthening. The patient was finally given an ischial weight relieving orthosis, 54 months after the index procedure.
After resection arthrodesis with intercalary autograft and simultaneous lengthening the resultant gap (∼15cm) was partially bridged by intercalary nonvascularized dual fibular strut graft (6-7cm) and additional corticocancellous bone graft from ipsilateral patella. Simultaneous limb lengthening with a distal tibial corticotomy was performed on an ilizarov fixator. The complications were superficial infection (n=5), stress fracture of fibula (n=2). The stress fracture fibula required DCP fixation and bone grafting. The usual time taken for union and limb length equalization was approximately one year.
Resection arthrodesis with intercalary dual fibular autograft and cortico-cancellous bone grafting with simultaneous limb lengthening achieved limb length equalization with relatively short morbidity.
Enbloc resection; giant cell tumor; reconstruction of knee
Nonunion of humeral shaft fractures after previously failed surgical treatment presents a challenging therapeutic problem especially in the presence of osteoporosis, bone defect, and joint stiffness. It would be beneficial to combine the use of external fixation technique and intramedullary rod in the treatment of such cases. The present study evaluates the results of using external fixator augmented by intramedullary rod and autogenous iliac crest bone grafting (ICBG) for the treatment of humerus shaft nonunion following previously failed surgical treatment.
Materials and Methods:
Eighteen patients with atrophic nonunion of the humeral shaft following previous implant surgery with no active infection were included in the present study. The procedure included exploration of the nonunion, insertion of intramedullary rod (IM rod), autogenous ICBG and application of external fixator for compression. Ilizarov fixator was used in eight cases and monolateral fixator in ten cases. The monolateral fixator was preferred for females and obese patients to avoid abutment against the breast or chest wall following the use of Ilizarov fixator. The fixator was removed after clinical and radiological healing of the nonunion, but the IM rod was left indefinitely. The evaluation of results included both bone results (union rate, angular deformity and limb shortening) and functional outcome using the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) rating scale.
The mean follow-up was 35 months (range 24 to 52 months). Bone union was obtained in all cases. The functional outcome was satisfactory in 15 cases (83%) and unsatisfactory in 3 cases (17%) due to joint stiffness. The time to bone healing averaged 4.2 months (range 3 to 7 months). The external fixator time averaged 4.5 months (range 3.2 to 8 months). Superficial pin tract infection occurred in 39% (28/72) of the pins. No cases of nerve palsy, refracture, or deep infection were encountered.
The proposed technique is effective in treating humeral nonunion especially in the presence of osteoporosis and short bone segments. The inclusion of intramedullary rod as internal splint improves stability of fixation and prevents refracture after fixator removal.
Humerus; nonunion; external fixation; intramedullary fixation
The Ilizarov technique has been used in the UK for the last 20 years in the management
of infected non-union of long bones. This method uses fine wires inserted percutaneously
which are attached and tensioned to provide a strong frame construct. The majority of
tibial and femoral non unions can be treated successfully by internal fixation. However,
an infected non-union of the tibia can prove a difficult problem. The Ilizarov method
can prove useful for treating these complex injuries.
To assess whether a new limb reconstruction centre in the UK has comparable
Patients and Methods
Twelve patients (10 M: 2 F; Avg age 43.3 years) who had an infected tibial non-union
between March 2009 and August 2010 treated with the Ilizarov technique. Intervention
method was Ilizarov technique and main outcome measures include functional and
radiological outcomes assessed using the Association for the Study and Application of
Methods of Ilizarov (ASAMI) criteria, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Score (AOFAS)
and Visual Analogue Pain scores.
All twelve patients united. None required amputation. Mean time to union was 46 weeks
(range 24 - 70/median 50). The average follow up time was 62 weeks (39 - 164/ median
59). According to the ASAMI score bone/radiological results ten were classed as
excellent with the remainder being good. Functionally six were graded as excellent, four
as good and two as poor. The average AOFAS score was 83/100 (70 - 90) and pain visual
analogue scale (VAS) was two.
Our results in terms of ASAMI scores are comparable with the published literature.
Furthermore, our return to work is better than most European studies (63%). All our
patients said they would have the procedure again. We attribute this success partly to
the multidisciplinary approach. We recommend early referral to a dedicated unit if there
is any evidence of a non-union.
Ilizarov; Tibial Non Union; Osteomyelitis
Fractures of the lower extremity are a common type of childhood injury and many can be treated without surgery. Dislocated and open fractures are an indication for fracture stabilization via either intramedullary nailing or, in the case of complicated fractures, external fixation. But if complications are likely because of diseases and disabilities (for example, a neuropathy) that can complicate the post-operative procedure and rehabilitation, what options does one have?
We report a nine-year-old Caucasian girl who had hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type I and who was admitted with a grade I open tibia fracture after a fall from a small height. Plain radiographs showed a dislocated tibia and fibula fracture. An open reduction with internal fixation with a compression plate osteosynthesis was performed, and soft tissue debridement combined with an external fixateur was undertaken. Three months later, she was re-admitted with localized swelling and signs of a local soft tissue infection in the middle of her tibia. Plain radiographs showed a non-union of the tibia fracture, and microbiological analysis confirmed a wound infection with cefuroxime-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Because of the non-union, the osteosynthesis was replaced with an Ilizarov external fixateur, and appropriate antibiotic therapy was initiated. Four months after the initial accident, the fracture was consolidated and we removed the external fixateur.
If there is a pre-existing neuropathy and if disease makes it difficult for a child to follow all post-operative instructions, salvage procedures should be kept in mind in case of complications. There are multiple therapeutic options, including osteosynthesis, intramedullary nailing systems, cast therapy, or an external fixateur like the Ilizarov or Taylor spatial frame system. The initial use of an external fixateur such as an Ilizarov or Taylor spatial frame in patients with pre-existing neuropathies should be kept in mind as a possible treatment option in complicated fractures, especially in a child with pre-existing neurological or endocrine pathologies.
Open tibia fracture; Childhood; Neuropathy; Llizarov or Taylor spatial frame; Non-union; Infection
The aim of the study is to determine the outcomes in patients who underwent conversion from an external fixator to an internal fixation device. This is a retrospective review of 18 patients (24 limbs) who underwent conversion from external to internal fixation. The patients had external fixators applied for traumatic bone defects or congenital deformities. Conversion to internal fixation was performed for reasons of patient dissatisfaction with external fixation, pin track sepsis, persistent non-union or refracture. The complexity of cases was graded using Paley’s level of difficulty score. Patients were either converted acutely or delayed. Internal fixation devices were either intramedullary nails or plate and screws. Outcome was regarded as excellent if the patients were fully weight-bearing and pain-free on a mechanically well-aligned limb and without need for further surgery: good if the patient required subsequent surgery to achieve union and poor if irreversible complications occurred. Acute conversions (fixator removal and introduction of internal fixation device at same surgery) were done in 19 limbs and delayed conversion (interval between fixator removal and internal fixation) in 5. In the acute group, 17 limbs (89.4 %) had at least a good outcome, 16 of these limbs had an excellent result. Two limbs (10.6 %) had a poor result and required amputation. Both cases were after acute conversion to intramedullary nails; the original presenting diagnosis was of an infected non-union of the tibia and both had Paley scores above 7. In the delayed conversion group, all limbs (100 %) had at least a good outcome, with 4 limbs (80 %) having an excellent result. The mean external fixator time was 185 days (61–370). Both the cases with poor outcomes had longer external fixation times. This series supports the practice of conversion of external fixation to internal fixation with the majority of patients attaining good results. It identifies that plate devices appear to produce fewer deep sepsis complications, as compared to intramedullary nails, particularly when the original presenting diagnosis is a septic non-union.
External fixation; Internal fixation; Conversion; Limb reconstruction; Scoring system; Consolidation phase
Nonunion in diaphyseal fractures of the humerus can be treated by various modalities like plating and bone grafting, exchange nailing, fibular strut grafting and Ilizarov’s method of ring fixation. To achieve union in infected nonunion in which multiple surgeries have already been done is further challenging. We conducted a prospective study wherein the outcome of the treatment of nonunion of diaphyseal fractures of the humerus by Ilizarov’s method was analyzed.
Materials and Methods:
Nineteen patients with diaphyseal nonunion of the humerus were treated by Ilizarov’s external fixator. These included nonunion after plating (n=11), intramedullary nailing (n=1) or conservative methods (n=7). In post-surgical infected nonunion (n=6), the implants were removed, debridement done, bone fragments were docked followed by application of ring fixator and compression. In aseptic nonunion (n=13), distraction for three weeks followed by compression was the protocol. Early shoulder and elbow physiotherapy was instituted. The apparatus was removed after clinical and radiological union and the results were assessed for bone healing and functional status.
Fracture union was achieved in all the 19 cases. Pin site infection was seen in 2 cases (10.52%). The bone healing results were excellent in eighteen cases (94.73%) and good in one case (5.26%).The functional results were found to be excellent in fourteen cases (73.68%), good in four (21.05%) and fair in one case (5.26%).
Ilizarov’s method is an excellent option for treatment of septic and aseptic non union of diaphyseal fractures of the humerus as it addresses all the problems associated with non union of the humerus like infection, deformity and joint stiffness.
Non union humerus; Ilizarov’s ring fixator; bone healing
Fibular hemimelia is partial or total aplasia of the fibula; it represents the most frequent congenital defect of the long bones. It usually is associated with other anomalies of the tibia, femur, and foot.
We reviewed 32 patients with Type III fibular hemimelia treated by successive lower limb lengthening and deformity correction using the Ilizarov method. We had three aims; first, to analyze complications, including the need for reoperation. The second was to assess knee and ankle function, specifically addressing knee ROM and stability and function of the foot and ankle. The third was assessment of overall patient satisfaction.
Patients and Methods
Thirty-two patients underwent 56 tibia lengthenings and 14 ipsilateral femoral lengthenings. Their mean age and mean functional leg-length discrepancy at initial treatment were 6.7 years and 6.2 cm, respectively. Activity level, pain, patient satisfaction with function, pain, and cosmesis, complications, and residual length discrepancy were assessed at the end of treatment.
The mean number of surgeries was six per case. The healing index was 44.9 days/cm. Although complications were observed during 60 lengthenings (82%), the highly versatile system overcame most of them. Nearly equal limb length and a plantigrade foot were achieved by 16 patients. For two patients, a Syme’s amputation was performed. The outcome was considered satisfactory in 17 patients (53%) and relatively good in eight patients (25%).
The Ilizarov technique has satisfactory results for treatment of Type III congenital fibular hemimelia and can be considered a good alternative to amputation.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Two common treatment options for congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) are intramedullary fixation following resection/shortening of the pseudarthrosis site and reconstruction with an Ilizarov external fixator following resection. We present in detail a narrative of two cases with similar degrees of tibial dysplasia associated with NF-1 treated using these different methods and followed to completion.
Technical issues and details of the treatment methods from case reports are discussed in depth. The eventual profoundly different outcomes are correlated to the technical variations used.
Treatment with the Charnley–Williams rodding method and aggressive bone grafting supplemented by rh-BMP2 resulted in a normal functioning limb at maturity, while treatment with first, an ineffective version of IM rodding, followed by two sessions of bone transport using an Ilizarov fixator failed to gain useful union and eventually resulted in amputation.
Technical details, heretofore inadequately reviewed in the literature, are crucial to the success of either of these commonly utilized treatment methods for CPT.
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia; Charnley–Williams intramedullary rodding; Bone transport with Ilizarov fixator; rhBMP2 treatment for CPT
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) is a rare pathology, which is usually associated with neurofibromatosis type I. The natural history of the disease is extremely unfavorable and once a fracture occurs, there is a little or no tendency for the lesion to heal spontaneously. It is challenging to treat effectively this difficult condition and its possible complications. Treatment is mainly surgical and it aims to obtain a long term bone union, to prevent limb length discrepancies, to avoid mechanical axis deviation, soft tissue lesions, nearby joint stiffness, and pathological fracture. The key to get primary union is to excise hamartomatous tissue and pathological periosteum. Age at surgery, status of fibula, associated shortening, and deformities of leg and ankle play significant role in primary union and residual challenges after primary healing. Unfortunately, none of invasive and noninvasive methods have proven their superiority. Surgical options such as intramedullary nailing, vascularized fibula graft, and external fixator, have shown equivocal success rate in achieving primary union although they are often associated with acceptable results. Amputation must be reserved for failed reconstruction, severe limb length discrepancy and gross deformities of leg and ankle. Distinct advantages, complications, and limitation of each primary treatment as well as strategies to deal with potential complications have been described. Each child with CPT must be followed up till skeletal maturity to identify and rectify residual problems after primary healing.
Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia; complications; children; surgery; treatment
The aim of this study was to review our experiences with tibial lengthening over an intramedullary nail in comparison to the conventional Ilizarov method.
We performed a retrospective comparison of tibial lengthening using the conventional Ilizarov method (group A: 23 limbs in 13 patients) versus over a nail (group B: 51 limbs in 26 patients). The percentage increase in tibial length, lengthening index, external fixation index, consolidation index and complications were assessed.
The mean gain in tibial length was 7.4 cm, which represents a mean increase of 26.0%. There was no difference in lengthening index or consolidation index; however, the patients in group A wore the external fixator longer than those in group B (281.5 versus 129.0 days), which represents a larger external fixation index (40.0 versus 17.4 day/cm). Group A had a higher complication rate (1.0 versus 0.47 per tibia) than group B.
Tibial lengthening over an intramedullary nail confers advantages over the conventional Ilizarov method, including shorter time needed for external fixation and lower complication rates.
In cases with infected non-union, the primary step is eradication of the infection before attempting to achieve union. Release of antibiotics from the bone cement at a high concentration and its penetration to the surrounding tissues, including cortical and cancellous bone, prompted the use of antibiotic cement in the control of bone infection. The aim of this study is to summarize our experience with the use of antibiotic cement-impregnated intramedullary nail (ACIIN) for control of infection in cases of infected non-union with bone defect.
Materials and Methods:
We prospectively studied 25 cases of infected non-union (23 femora and two tibiae). There were 24 males and one female, with the mean age being 33 years (range, 21–58 years). All patients had high-velocity road traffic accidents except one patient who had farmland injury. There were seven closed fractures, one grade I compound, two grade II compound fractures, five grade IIIA compound fractures, and 10 grade IIIB compound fractures. ACIIN was used in all cases after adequate debridement. Patients were classified according to the amount of bone defect present after debridement: group 1 with bone defect <4 cm (n=13), group 2 with bone defect ≥4–<6 cm (n=7), and group 3 with bone defect ≥6 cm (n=5). Infection control was judged on the basis of discharge through the wound and laboratory parameters. All patients were followed-up, with an average follow-up time of 29 months (range, 18–40 months). The mean duration of retention of the intramedullary rod was 8 weeks (range, 6–12 weeks).
In group 1, all cases achieved infection control, with three patients achieving bone union without any need of secondary procedure. In group 2, all cases achieved infection control but the time taken was significantly longer than for group 1 (P value 0.0002). All the cases required a secondary procedure in the form of either interlocking intramedullary nailing with iliac crest bone graft or Ilizarov ring fixator application to achieve union. None of the cases in group 3 achieved infection control.
ACIINs are useful for infection control in cases of infected non-union with bone defect <6 cm. In cases with defect >6 cm, other alternatives should be used.
Antibiotic cement-impregnated intramedullary nail; bone defect; infected non-union
Severe open tibial fractures are more apt to be followed by complications even with the universally accepted lines of treatment. The present study investigated the role of external skeletal fixation, based on Ilizarov techniques, in the management of the sequelae of open tibial fractures with modifications to meet the requirements of each case.
Materials and Methods:
We reviewed the results of treatment of 148 cases of late presentation with complicated open tibial fractures. Their ages ranged from 12 to 74 years (average, 34 years). Active infection was present in 40 cases. We performed acute shortening and relengthening in 60 cases; excision of nonunion, acute deformity correction, and lengthening for nonunion with deformity in 30 cases; segmental excision and bone transport in 20 cases; gradual deformity correction after osteotomy in 15 cases; and distraction and gradual deformity correction for hypertrophic nonunion with deformity in 23 cases. Ilizarov external fixator was used in 96 (65%) cases, and monolateral fixator was used in 52 (35%) cases. The mean follow-up was 35 months (range 24 to 118 months).
Fracture union was achieved in all cases (100%). Evaluation of results were based on both objective (clinical and radiological) and subjective criteria and patients' satisfaction. The results were satisfactory in 139 cases (94%) and unsatisfactory in nine (6%) cases because of residual leg length discrepancy, joint stiffness, and persistent pain.
The use of external fixation, based on Ilizarov techniques, is invaluable in the management of difficult open tibia fractures. However, the technique should be tailored to the requirements of each case. The functional outcome is predetermined by the soft tissue status before treatment.
Open fracture; tibia; sequelae; nonunion; deformity; external fixation
The Ilizarov technique has been used to treat severe limb length discrepancy and short stature. However, complications of this treatment are frequent. Between 1984 and 2001, 57 patients (94 tibias) had an Ilizarov procedure for limb lengthening. Twenty patients had limb discrepancy and 37 had short stature. Their mean age was 20.2 years (range 15–34). The average limb lengthening was 8.37 cm (range 3.2–14.7), which was equivalent to 26% (range 9.2–60%) average tibial lengthening. A total of 90 complications were observed. Thirty-three unplanned procedures were required during the lengthening programme. Two patients stopped the lengthening programme. There was no difference in the complications in leg lengthening using Ilizarov technique between the group of patients with leg length discrepancy and the group with short stature. A good knowledge of the Ilizarov technique is necessary to perform a lengthening programme with a low rate of complications.
Tibial fractures are the third most common pediatric long-bone fracture after forearm and femoral fractures. Approximately 50% of pediatric tibial fractures occur in the distal third of the tibia. This is followed by midshaft tibial fractures (39%), and least commonly, the proximal third of the tibia is involved. Tibial fractures in the skeletally immature patient can usually be treated without surgery but tibial fractures resulting from high energy traumas are of special importance considering type of the selected treatment method affecting the children future. Manipulation and casting are regarded as definite treatments for children tibial fractures. They are used following compartment syndrome in poly-trauma, neurovascular damages, open fractures, and fasciotomy cases.
In children, most open fractures occur due to high energy traumas and inappropriate treatment of the fractures may result in several complications. Flexible intramedullary nailing is one of the popular options as an effective method of treating long-bone fractures in children. The external fixator is used in cases with severe injuries and open fractures. The present study aims at comparing results of these two treatment methods in the open pediatric tibial fractures.
Materials and Methods
In this descriptive analytical study, 32 patients with open tibial fractures were treated with either fixator (n = 18) or TEN nails (n=14) during 2006-2011. Some patients were treated with a combination method of TEN and pin. The results were evaluated considering infection, union, mal-union, and re-fracture and the patients were followed up for two years.
Mean time required for fracture union was 12.5 (11-14) and 11.8 (10-12) weeks for the external fixator and TEN groups, respectively. There was no statistical difference in time of union between the two methods. The main complications in external fixation were infection around the pin 4 (22.2%), leg-length discrepancy 2 (11.1%) and re-fracture 4 (22.2%). In the TEN group, 2 cases (14.2%) of painful bursitis were observed at the entry point of TEN and the pin was removed earlier. There was not any report of mal-union requiring correction in the groups. No complication was seen in 6 patients treated with a combined method of pin and flexible intramedullary nails.
Although external fixation in open pediatric fractures and severe injuries is recommended, intramedullary nailing is also an effective method with low complications. Combining pins and flexible intramedullary nails is effective in developing more stability and is not associated with more complications.
Fractures, Open; External Fixator; Fracture Fixation; Child
Treatment of relapsed clubfoot after soft tissue release in children is difficult because of the high recurrence rate and related complications. Even though the Ilizarov method is used for soft tissue distraction, there is a high incidence of recurrence after removal of the Ilizarov frame owing to previous contracture of soft tissue and a skin scar.
We asked (1) whether transfixation of midfoot joints by temporary K wires during the consolidation stage after short-term application of an Ilizarov frame would maintain correction of the relapsed clubfoot clinicoradiologically and (2) whether this method would reduce the rate of recurrence and related complications in patients with a skin scar from previous surgery.
We retrospectively reviewed 18 patients (19 feet) with relapsed clubfeet who underwent correction by soft tissue distraction using an Ilizarov ring fixator, between March 2005 and June 2008. The mean age of the patients was 8 ± 2 years (range, 4–15 years). K wire fixation for the midfoot joints combined with a below-knee cast were used during the consolidation stage. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 4.5 years; range, 2–6 years).
The average duration of frame application was 5 weeks; the mean duration of treatment was 11 weeks. At last followup, 16 of 19 feet were painless and plantigrade and only three of 19 feet had recurrence. The mean preoperative clinical American Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score had increased at last followup (57 versus 81). The values of the AP talocalcaneal, AP talo-first metatarsal, and lateral calcaneo-first metatarsal angles improved after treatment. The three recurrent clubfeet were treated by corrective osteotomies and Ilizarov frame application.
This method could maintain the correction of relapsed clubfoot in children and reduce the recurrence rate and complications regardless of the presence of a skin scar owing to previous surgery.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, case series. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Background and purpose Failed treatment of fractures may be corrected by the Ilizarov technique but complications are common. In 52 patients with compromised healing of femoral and tibial fractures, the results of secondary reconstruction with Ilizarov treatment were investigated retrospectively in order to identify the factors that contribute to the risk of complications.
Methods 52 consecutive patients was analyzed. The median interval between injury and secondary reconstruction was 3 (0.1–27) years. The patients had failed fracture treatment resulting in bone defects, pseudarthrosis, infection, limb length discrepancy (LLD) caused by bone consolidation after bone loss, malunion, soft-tissue loss, and stiff joints. Most patients had a combination of these deformities. The results were analyzed by using logistic regression in a polytomous universal mode (PLUM) logistic regression model.
Results The median treatment time was 9 (4–30) months, and the obstacle and complication rate was 105% per corrected bone segment. In 2 patients treatment failed, which resulted in amputation. In all other patients healing of nonunion could be established, malunion could be corrected, and infections were successfully treated. The statistical analysis revealed that relative bone loss of the affected bone was the only predictor for occurrence of complications. From these data, we constructed a simple graph that shows the relationship between relative bone loss of the affected bone and risk of complications.
Interpretation Relative bone loss of the affected bone segment is the main predictor of complications after Ilizarov treatment of previously failed fracture treatment. The visualization of the analysis in a simple graph may assist comparison of the complication rates in the literature.
Roentgenographic and functional outcomes of expandable self locking intramedullary nailing and platelet rich plasma (PRP) gel in the treatment of long bone non-unions are reported.
Materials and methods
Twenty-two patients suffering from atrophic diaphyseal long bone non-unions were enrolled in the study. Patients were treated with removal of pre-existing hardware, decortication of non-union fragments, and fixation of pseudoarthrosis with expandable intramedullary nailing (Fixion™, Disc’O Tech, Tel Aviv, Israel). At surgery, PRP was placed in the pseudoarthrosis rim.
The thirteen-month follow-up showed 91% (20/22 patients) of patients attaining bony union. The average time to union was 21.5 weeks. No infection, neurovascular complication, rotational malalignment, or limb shortening >4 mm were observed. The healing rate of non-unions was comparable to that observed in previous studies but with a lower complication frequency.
The combined use of self locking intramedullary nailing and PRP in the management of atrophic diaphyseal long bone non-unions seems to produce comparable results with less complications than previously reported. Further data are warranted to investigate the single contribution of PRP gel and Fixion nail.
Intramedullary nailing; Platelet rich plasma; Pseudoarthrosis
The aim of this study is to compare lengthening over an intramedullary nail to the conventional Ilizarov method with regard to percentage length increase, external fixation index, consolidation index and incidence of complications. This is a prospective randomized controlled study. Thirty-one limbs in 28 patients were included in the study; 15 were lengthened over an intramedullary nail, and 16 limbs were lengthened conventionally. The mean duration of external fixation in the lengthening over nail group was 52.2 days compared to 180.4 days in the conventional group. There was higher incidence of complications in the conventional method group. In comparison with conventional Ilizarov lengthening, lengthening over an intramedullary nail offers a shorter period of external fixation and fewer complications overall, but there is a high incidence of deep intramedullary infection which is serious.
Ilizarov; Bone lengthening; Intramedullary nail; Distraction osteogenesis