Versatility of Ilizarov external fixator in management of foot and ankle deformity
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Traditional methods of correcting foot deformities may be difficult to apply in some conditions, especially in presence of other lower limb problems. This study discusses the versatility of Ilizarov external fixator (IEF) in such cases. It was performed in 34 foot deformities in 33 patients, treated with IEF between 1997 and 1999. The average age of the patients was 15 years. The aetiology of foot deformity was recurrent congenital talipes equinovarus (n=10), neglected congenital talipes equinovarus (n=3), poliomyelitis (n=9), post-traumatic deformity (n=6), post-burn deformity (n=1), arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (n=2), and cerebral palsy, fibular hemimelia and tibial hemimelia (1 case each). Unconstrained IEF was applied for the foot in all cases. The leg construct was applied according to the target: foot deformity alone or associated with other leg problems. IEF construct was extended to the femur in cases with flexion knee deformity and hinges were added. Follow-up continued until overcorrection was maintained for the same period of correction followed by an appropriate cast for 8 weeks. The mean time for deformity correction and Ilizarov stabilisation was 16 weeks, and follow-up period was 23.1 months. The results were good in 31, fair in 2 and bad in 1. Additional procedures were performed, most often in the same operating time. Primary arthrodesis was done for 5 feet and for one revision of failed previous arthrodesis. Open corrective osteotomy for arthrodesis was performed in 2 cases. Two females were treated for flexion knee with bloodless technique. Wire-site infections, wire cut-through a calcaneum and metatarsals and fracture post-IEF removal were observed. Although it is technically difficult, IEF can be considered an effective and versatile way of treating foot and other associated lower limb problems through one-reconstruction attack.
Key wordsAdditional procedures Bloodless technique Foot deformity Ilizarov external fixator
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