International Orthopaedics

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 299–303 | Cite as

Complications of bone lengthening

  • J. D. Aquerreta
  • F. Forriol
  • J. Cañadell
Article

Summary

Bone lengthening is a surgical method which requires meticulous technique, continuous attention, and satisfactory cooperation on the part of the patient. The absence of common criteria makes it difficult both to classify the complications which arise, and to compare them with those of other authors. We report the complications in a group of 61 patients who were studied prospectively. Disorders of the lengthening callus accounted for 45% of all complications, and a further 33% arose in the joints. The remainder occurred in the bone, the apparatus and the soft tissues, of which the most common were stiffness of the joints, axial deviations and loosening of the pins, while articular subluxation, fractures with angulation and delayed consolidation occurred less frequently. In our study, the overall number of complications per lengthening process was 2.1. In bilateral lengthening, the rate was 1 per segment, while in unilateral cases the mean was 2.7. Problems which we defined as severe, requiring that the lengthening had to be halted, occurred in 1.8% of the total complications. The aetiology of the length discrepancy has an important role in the complications which occur in each segment. Over twice as many problems occur in asymmetrical lengthening procedures as in patients where lengthening is symmetrical.

Résumé

L'allongement osseux est une intervention chirurgicale qui demande une technique méticuleuse, une surveillance médicale continue et une coopération satisfaisante du patient. En l'absence de critères communs il est difficile de classer les complications et de comparer avec les résultats d'autres auteurs. Si l'on analyse les complications selon leur localisation on constate que les problèmes concernant le cal représentent 45% du total et ceux des articulations 33%, soit un total d'environ 75% pour ces deux catégories. Les 25% restants se situent au niveau de l'os lui-même, du fixateur et des parties molles. Les incidents les plus fréquents sont les raideurs articulaires, les déviations axiales et l'ostéolyse autour des fiches, tandis que les subluxations, les fractures avec angulation et retard de consolidation s'observent moins souvent. Dans notre étude le total des complications est de 2.1 par allongement. Dans les allongements symétriques il est de 1 par segment, alors que dans les allongements asymétriques il s'élève à 2.7%. Les problèmes que nous considérons comme graves, c'est à dire ceux qui compromettent le processus d'allongement représentent 1.8% du total des complications. L'étiologie joue un rôle important dans les complications qui surviennent au niveau de chaque segment. Les complications des allongements asymétriques sont deux fois plus fréquentes que celles des allongements symétriques.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Aquerreta
    • 1
  • F. Forriol
    • 1
  • J. Cañadell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Clinic, School of MedicineUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain

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