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The use of external fixation in complex trauma of upper limb

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From 1997 to 2003 (7 years follow-up) we treated 33 complex traumas of the upper limbs with the use of external fixation: forearm or humeral complete amputation, complex crash, sometimes with hand crash associated. Often a revascularisation was necessary like as a secondary skin coverage for soft tissue loss or following ischaemic necrosis. Three patients were reluctant to agree to a secondary amputation for large soft tissue necrosis and infection. A high percentage of cases need a successive operation because of bone non-union. Revision of our casistic helps us answer the following: how complex and long is the prognosis of this kind of patient, which are the most important choices we have to make, how important is the length of time taken to make a decision and what are the weak spots in the treatment of these traumas.

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Correspondence to Enrico Carità.

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Corain, M., Carità, E., Vassia, L. et al. The use of external fixation in complex trauma of upper limb. Chir Organi Mov 91, 3–6 (2008).

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