Reconstruction of large diaphyseal bone defect is complex and the complications rate is high. This study aimed to assess a simplified technique of segmental bone transport by monorail external fixator over an intramedullary nail.A prospective study included 7 patients: 2 femoral and 5 tibial defects. Mean age was 31years (range: 16–61years). Mean follow-up was 62 months (range: 46–84months). Defects were post-traumatic, with a mean length of 7.2cm (range: 4 to 9.5cm). For 3 patients, reconstruction followed primary failure. In 4 cases, a covering flap was necessary. Transport used an external fixator guided by an intramedullary nail, at a rate of 1mm per day. One pin was implanted on either side of the distraction zone. The external fixator was removed 1 month after bone contact at the docking site. Mean bone transport time was 11 weeks (range: 7–15 weeks). Mean external fixation time was 5.1months (range: 3.5 to 8months). Full weight-bearing was allowed 5.7months (range: 3.5–13months) after initiation of transport. In one patient, a pin had to be repositioned. In 3 patients, the transported segment re-ascended after external fixatorablation, requiring repeat external fixation and resumption of transport. There was just 1 case of superficial pin infection. Reconstruction quality was considered “excellent” on the Paley-Marr criteria in 6 cases. The present technique provided excellent reconstruction quality in 6 of the 7 cases. External fixation time was shorter and resumption of weight-bearing earlier than with other reconstruction techniques, notably including bone autograft, vascularized bone graft or the induced membrane technique. Nailing facilitated control of limb axis and length. The complications rate was 50%, comparable to other techniques. This study raises the question of systematic internal fixation of the docking site, to avoid any mobilization of the transported segment. The bone quality, axial control and rapidity shown by the present technique make it well-adapted to reconstruction of diaphyseal bone defect.
Level of evidence
Four-case series.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Diaphyseal bone defect, Bone transport over a nail, Monorail external fixator
|☆|| Article issued from the SOO (the Orthopedics and Traumatology Society of Western France).