Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 3 ( November, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Use of flexible intramedullary nailing in combination with an external fixator for a postoperative defect and pseudarthrosis of femur in a girl with osteogenesis imperfecta type VIII: a case report

Dmitry Popkov

Keywords : Osteogenesis imperfecta type VIII, Flexible intramedullary nailing, External fixation

Citation Information : Popkov D. Use of flexible intramedullary nailing in combination with an external fixator for a postoperative defect and pseudarthrosis of femur in a girl with osteogenesis imperfecta type VIII: a case report. 2018; 13 (3):191-197.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-018-0320-3

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Telescopic rodding has been developed in order to obtain long-lasting osteosynthesis in the growing long bones of children with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). The major and still unsolved drawback of any telescopic rod or nail design is a lack of rotational stability and, currently, no telescopic system allows immediate weight-bearing. When these problems are associated with insufficient longitudinal bone stability and diminished healing capacity, the result can be unfavourable causing secondary bone fragment displacement, delayed or non-union. This article presents a case report of operative treatment in a 9-year-old girl affected with OI type VIII complicated with postoperative defect and pseudarthrosis of the femur causing functional impairment with loss of walking ability. A combination of intramedullary flexible nailing and minimal external fixation was applied for treatment of femoral defect-pseudarthrosis in a girl of 9 years with OI type VIII. Intramedullary and extramedullary nails with wrapping of titanium nickel mesh subperiosteally provided osteosynthesis and deformity correction of the tibia of a small intramedullary canal diameter. Upright standing and walking with progressive weight-bearing was started 4 days after surgery. There were no septic or vascular complications nor complications related to Ilizarov fixator. Radiographs demonstrated bone union in the femur 46 days after surgery. At the follow-up visit 9 months after fixator removal, clinical alignment remained excellent without any relapse of deformity. Bone remodelling with restitution of medullary canal was noted on lower limb radiographs. The patient was able to stand and walk without pain with an aide or walker. At the follow-up visit 17 months after fixator removal, there was no decrease in achieved functional abilities and the treatment outcome remained satisfactory. Use of an external fixator with intramedullary nailing for treatment of postoperative pseudarthrosis in patient with severe OI (recessive form of OI, type VIII) provides longitudinal, rotational and angular stability. Furthermore, this approach ensured early functional activity and walking with full weight-bearing, both favourable conditions for bone tissue regeneration. The external fixator was applied for a short period and only for additional stability and not for progressive deformity correction or other manipulation. In addition, the combination of intramedullary and extramedullary nailing and subperiosteal titanium nickel mesh seems to be promising for osteosynthesis in the deformity correction of bones with small diameter in children with OI.

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