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Ilizarov technique in management of nonunited fracture of both bones of the forearm


Nonunited fracture of the forearm, although not a common problem, is associated with marked disability. Nonunion can due to infection secondary to open fracture or can be a complication of surgical open reduction and internal fixation. Nonunion can also result from improper management or technique that is not suitable for the type of injury. This study reviews 11 patients with nonunited fractures of the shafts of the radius and ulna. Average duration of nonunion was 18 months. Nine patients presented with active infection or a history of infection in the form of open discharging wound with or without exposed bone, while two had no history of infection. Patients were managed by surgical debridment, removal of dead bone and hard wear, if any, and application of Ilizarov external fixation frame followed by acute shortening by compressing the fracture site. Three weeks later, gradual lengthening started to regain the normal length. Eradication of infection and sound union was achieved in all cases, with good hand, wrist, and elbow function on final follow-up. Limitation in pronation and supination ranges of movement were found in all cases. This could be due to multiple surgeries, long duration of management, the external fixation wires that crossed the distal and proximal radio-ulnar joints, or loss of the normal radial and ulnar bowing during lengthening. Ilizarov technique and external fixation represent an option in the management of resistant nonunion of diaphysial fractures in the forearm.

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Received: 5 July 2002, Accepted: 16 July 2002

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Emara, K. Ilizarov technique in management of nonunited fracture of both bones of the forearm. J Orthopaed Traumatol 3, 177–180 (2002).

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  • Key words Nonunion
  • Fracture
  • Forearm
  • Ilizarov