Aim: Bone transport is a beneficial reconstructive method for bone defects caused by infected non-unions or bone tumours. The Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF) is a three-dimensional corrective external fixator that can be used to achieve bone transport and correct any residual deformities easily at any time. This study reports the results of bone transport using TSF.
Materials and methods: This is a retrospective study of ten patients who underwent bone transport using the TSF. The mean age was 32.3 years; the femur was affected in one case and the lower leg in nine. Bone defects were due to infected non-unions in seven cases and bone tumours in three. The duration of external fixation, bone transport distance, distraction index (DI), alignment at the end of correction, leg length discrepancy, and complications were investigated.
Results: The average bone transport distance was 76.0 mm. The external fixation period averaged 367 days with the DI at 20.8 days/cm. Deformity at the docking site was assessed to have an average 2.6° deformity and 2.0 mm translation in the frontal view, as well as 3.3° deformity and 3.7 mm translation in the lateral view. The mean leg length discrepancy was 10.9 mm and the percentage of the mechanical axis (%MA) was 40.6%. Four patients underwent plate conversion after correction and two required additional surgery for non-union at the docking site. Bone union was achieved in all patients and there was no reaggravation of infection or tumour recurrence.
Conclusion: The TSF allowed for the correction of deformities and translations that occurred during bone transport giving excellent results. However, as with bone transport using this or other devices, additional procedures are often needed to obtain consolidation or docking site union.
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