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Advances in Orthopedics
Volume 2011, Article ID 967186, 10 pages
Research Article

Femoral Reconstruction Using External Fixation

Limb Lengthening and Deformity Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA

Received 15 July 2010; Revised 28 October 2010; Accepted 3 January 2011

Academic Editor: Boris Zelle

Copyright © 2011 Yevgeniy Palatnik and S. Robert Rozbruch. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The use of an external fixator for the purpose of distraction osteogenesis has been applied to a wide range of orthopedic problems caused by such diverse etiologies as congenital disease, metabolic conditions, infections, traumatic injuries, and congenital short stature. The purpose of this study was to analyze our experience of utilizing this method in patients undergoing a variety of orthopedic procedures of the femur. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed our experience of using external fixation for femoral reconstruction. Three subgroups were defined based on the primary reconstruction goal lengthening, deformity correction, and repair of nonunion/bone defect. Factors such as leg length discrepancy (LLD), limb alignment, and external fixation time and complications were evaluated for the entire group and the 3 subgroups. Results. There was substantial improvement in the overall LLD, femoral length discrepancy, and limb alignment as measured by mechanical axis deviation (MAD) and lateral distal femoral angle (LDFA) for the entire group as well as the subgroups. Conclusions. The Ilizarov external fixator allows for decreased surgical exposure and preservation of blood supply to bone, avoidance of bone grafting and internal fixation, and simultaneous lengthening and deformity correction, making it a very useful technique for femoral reconstruction.