Gradual fibular transfer by ilizarov external fixator in post-traumatic and post-infection large tibial bone defects
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Several reconstructive procedures have been used in management of large tibial bone defects including bone graft, bone transport (distraction osteogenesis) using various external fixators, and vascularized bone graft. Each of these procedures has its limitations and complications. The study describes gradual medial fibular transfer using Ilizarov external fixators in management of patients with large tibial defect, either following infection or trauma.
Patients and methods
Between May 2011 and June 2013, 14 patients were prospectively included in the current study. The inclusion criteria were large tibial defect due to trauma or infection with severe soft tissue compromise, and small or poor tibial bone remnants making bone lengthening difficult. Exclusion criteria were patients with vascular or nerve injuries. The average age of the patients was 31.64 (± 6.5) years. Medial fibular transfer was done for all patients using Ilizarov at a rate of 0.5 mm twice daily. Iliac bone graft was used in all patients after the transfer.
The average segmental bone defect of the tibia was (13.2 ± 2.6), ranging between 8 and 18.6 cm. Union was achieved in all patients with average fixator time was 32.42 (± 4.32) weeks. Average follow-up after removal of the fixator was 40.5 (± 6.9) months.
Gradual fibular transfer by Ilizarov external fixator is a reliable technique in management of post-traumatic and post-infection large tibial bone defects with good clinical outcome, and with few complications.
KeywordsTibial defect Illizarov Fibular transefer
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.
The study was approved by ethical committee of Benha University and were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. All patients signed an informed consent after clear explanation of the surgical procedure.