Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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2015 | August | Volume 10 | Issue 2

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Original Article

David J. S. Roberts, Anna Panagiotidou, Matthew Sewell, David Goodier

The incidence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism with the elective use of external fixators

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:5] [Pages No:67 - 71]

Keywords: Thrombosis, Prophylaxis, Frame, Elective, Incidence

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0219-1  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Little evidence exists about the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) with the use of external fixators. We investigated this in a cohort of 207 consecutive patients undergoing 258 elective frame applications by case note review. Case notes were obtained for 84 % of the sample population. The type of surgery, demographic data, thromboembolic risk factors and the incidence of DVT/PE were recorded. One patient experienced DVT (0.39 %) and one a PE (0.39 %). Both were of high risk and had received mechanical and chemical thromboprophylaxis during their inpatient stay. These complications were identified at least 3 months post-operatively. These findings help to more accurately counsel patients undergoing elective frame surgery on the risks of DVT/PE and also contribute to the discussion between surgeons about whether or not extended course chemical thromboprophylaxis would be of overall benefit.


Original Article

Paul Dearden, Kathryn Lowery, Kevin Sherman, Vishy Mahadevan, Hemant Sharma

Fibular head transfixion wire and its relationship to common peroneal nerve: cadaveric analysis

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:6] [Pages No:73 - 78]

Keywords: Ilizarov, Peroneal nerve, Anatomy, Frame, Proximal tibial fractures, Limb lengthening

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0225-3  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Proximal tibio-fibular joint is routinely stabilised during leg lengthening, peri-articular fractures and deformity corrections of tibia. Potential injury to the common peroneal nerve at the level of the fibula head/neck junction during wire insertion is a recognised complication. Previous studies have mapped the course of the common peroneal nerve and its branches at the level of the fibular head, and guidelines are published regarding placement of proximal tibial wires. This study aims to relate the course of the common peroneal nerve to the placement of a lateral insertion fibula head transfixion wire. Standard 1.8-mm Ilizarov ‘olive’ wires were inserted in the fibula head of 10 un-embalmed cadaveric knees. Wires were inserted percutaneously to the fibula head using surface anatomy landmarks and palpation technique. The course of the common peroneal nerve was then dissected. Distances from wire entry point to the course of the common peroneal nerve were measured post-wire insertion. The mean distance of the common peroneal nerve from the anterior aspect of the broadest point of the fibular head was 24.5 mm (range 14.2–37.7 mm). Common peroneal nerve was seen to cross the neck of fibula at a mean distance of 34.8 mm from the tip of fibula (range 21.5–44.3 mm). Wire placement was found to be on average, 52 % of the maximal AP diameter of the fibula head and 64 % of the distance from tip of fibula to the point of nerve crossing fibula neck. When inserting a fibula head transfixion wire, care must be taken not to place wire entry point too distal or posterior on the fibula head. Observing a safe zone in the anterior half of the proximal 20 mm of the fibula head would avoid injury to the nerve. In cases where palpation of fibula is difficult due to patient habitus, we recommend consideration of the use of fluoroscopic guidance during wire transfixion of the proximal tibio-fibular articulation to avoid wire insertion too distally and subsequent potential nerve injury.


Original Article

Narinder Kumar, Vyom Sharma

Hook plate fixation for acute acromioclavicular dislocations without coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction: a functional outcome study in military personnel

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:7] [Pages No:79 - 85]

Keywords: Acromioclavicular dislocation, Hook plate, Military personnel

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0228-0  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


The aim of our study was to evaluate the shoulder function after clavicular hook plate fixation of acute acromioclavicular dislocations (Rockwood type III) in a population group consisting exclusively of high-demand military personnel. This prospective study was carried out at a tertiary care military orthopaedic centre during 2012–2013 using clavicular hook plate for management of acromioclavicular injuries without coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction in 33 patients. All patients underwent routine implant removal after 16 weeks. The functional outcome was assessed at 3, 6 and 12 months after hook plate removal and 2 years from the initial surgery using the Constant Murley and UCLA Scores. All the patients were male serving soldiers and had sustained acromioclavicular joint dislocation (Rockwood type III). Mean age of the patient group was 34.24 years (21–55 years). The mean follow-up period in this study was 23.5 months (20–26 months) after hook plate fixation and an average of 19.9 months (17–22 months) after hook plate removal. The average Constant Score at 3 months after hook plate removal was 60.3 as compared to 83.7 and 90.3 at 6 months and 1 year, respectively, and an average of 91.8 at the last follow-up that was approximately 2 years after initial surgery which was statistically significant (p value <0.05). The UCLA Score was an average of 15.27, 25.9 and 30.1 at 3, 6 months and 1 year, respectively, after removal of hook plate which improved further an average of 32.3 at the last follow-up, which was also statistically significant (p value <0.05). Clavicular hook plate fixation without coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction is a good option for acute acromioclavicular dislocations producing excellent medium-term functional results in high-demand soldiers.


Original Article

Tatyana N. Varsegova, Natalia A. Shchudlo, Mikhail M. Shchudlo, Marat S. Saifutdinov, Mikhail A. Stepanov

The effects of tibial fracture and Ilizarov osteosynthesis on the structural reorganization of sciatic and tibial nerves during the bone consolidation phase and after fixator removal

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:8] [Pages No:87 - 94]

Keywords: Shin bone fractures, Nerve fibres degeneration, Dogs

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0227-1  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Reactive and adaptive changes in mechanically uninjured nerves during fracture healing have not been studied previously although the status of innervation is important for bone union and functional recovery. This study explores whether subclinical nerve fibre degeneration occurs in mechanically uninjured nerves in an animal fracture model and to quantify its extent and functional significance. Twenty-four dogs were deeply anaesthetized and subjected to experimental tibial shaft fracture and Ilizarov osteosynthesis. Before fracture and during the experiment, electromyography was performed. In 7, 14, 20, 35–37 and 50 days of fixation and 30, 60–90 and 120 days after fixator removal, the dogs were euthanized. Samples from sciatic, peroneal and tibial nerves were processed for semithin section histology and morphometry. On the 37th postoperative day, M-response amplitudes in leg muscles were 70 % lower than preoperative ones. After fixator removal, these increased but were not restored to normal values. There were no signs of nerve injuries from bone fragments or wires from the fixator. The incidence of degenerated myelin fibres (MFs) was less than 12 %. Reorganization of Remak bundles (Group C nerve fibres—principally sensory) led to a temporal increase in numerical nerve fibre densities. Besides axonal atrophy, the peroneal nerve was characterized with demyelination–remyelination, while tibial nerve with hypermyelination. There were changes in endoneural vessel densities. In spite of minor acute MF degeneration, sustained axonal atrophy, dismyelination and retrograde changes did not resolve until 120 days after fracture healing. Correlations of morphometric parameters of degenerated MF with M-response amplitudes from electromyography underlie the subclinical neurologic changes in functional outcomes after tibial fractures even when nerves are mechanically uninjured.


Original Article

Alfred O. Ogbemudia, Ehimwenma J. Ogbemudia, Edwin Edomwonyi

Efficacy of 1 % silver sulphadiazine dressings in preventing infection of external fixation pin-tracks: a randomized study

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:5] [Pages No:95 - 99]

Keywords: 1 % silver sulphadiazine, Pin-skin interface, External fixation, Infection

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0226-2  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Pin-track infection (PTI) is a common complication of external fixation. Antimicrobial dressings of the pin-site interface should reduce the severity and incidence of PTI. This study is aimed at determining the efficacy of 1 % silver sulphadiazine dressings in preventing PTI in external fixation. We compared the incidence of PTI between group A (dry sterile gauze dressing) and group B (1 % silver sulphadiazine impregnated gauze dressing). PTI was diagnosed when there was: (1) redness around any pin-site, (2) tenderness near a pin-site and (3) serous or purulent discharge from the pin-skin interface. With infection, swab was obtained for microscopy, culture and sensitivity. Pin-track infections were diagnosed in 22.5 and 4.1 % of patients in groups A and B, respectively. This difference was statistically significant. The commonest organism isolated from swabs was Staphyloccus aureus. In patients with external fixation, 1 % silver sulphadiazine lowered PTI. This further underlines the need for antimicrobial dressings of pin-sites. We recommend the use of 1 % silver sulphadiazine impregnated ribbon gauze for pin-site dressings. Level of evidence II.


Original Article

Andras Heijink, Marc L. Wagener, Maarten J. de Vos, Denise Eygendaal

Distal humerus prosthetic hemiarthroplasty: midterm results

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:8] [Pages No:101 - 108]

Keywords: Arthroplasty, Elbow, Posttraumatic, Trauma, Replacement, Upper extremity

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0229-z  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Treatment of comminuted distal humeral fractures remains challenging. Open reduction–internal fixation remains the preferred treatment, but is not always feasible. In selected cases with non-reconstructable or highly comminuted fractures, total elbow arthroplasty has been used, however, also with relatively high complication and failure rates. Distal humerus prosthetic hemiarthroplasty (DHA) may be an alternative in these cases. The purpose of this study was to report the midterm results of six patients that were treated by DHA for acute and salvage treatment of non-reconstructable fractures of the distal humerus. All six patients were treated by DHA for acute and salvage treatment of non-reconstructable fractures of the distal humerus. Medical records were reviewed, and each patient was seen in the office. Mean follow-up was 54 months (range 21–76 months). Implant survival was 100 %. Three were pain free and three had mild or moderate residual pain. Average flexion–extension arc was 95.8° (range 70°–115°) and average pronation–supination arc was 165° (range 150°–180°). In three, there was some degree of instability, which was symptomatic in one. One had motoric and sensory sequelae of a partially recovered traumatic ulnar nerve lesion. According to the Mayo Elbow Performance Score, there were three excellent, one good and two poor results. Four were satisfied with the final result, and two were not. In this case series of six patients with DHA for non-reconstructable distal humerus fractures, favorable midterm follow-up results were seen; however, complications were also observed.


Original Article

M. M. J. Walenkamp, R. J. O. de Muinck Keizer, J. G. G. Dobbe, G. J. Streekstra, J. C. Goslings, P. Kloen, S. D. Strackee, N. W. L. Schep

Computer-assisted 3D planned corrective osteotomies in eight malunited radius fractures

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:8] [Pages No:109 - 116]

Keywords: Malunion, Radius, Corrective osteotomy, 3D

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0234-2  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


In corrective osteotomy of the radius, detailed preoperative planning is essential to optimising functional outcome. However, complex malunions are not completely addressed with conventional preoperative planning. Computer-assisted preoperative planning may optimise the results of corrective osteotomy of the radius. We analysed the pre- and postoperative radiological result of computer-assisted 3D planned corrective osteotomy in a series of patients with a malunited radius and assessed postoperative function. We included eight patients aged 13–64 who underwent a computer-assisted 3D planned corrective osteotomy of the radius for the treatment of a symptomatic radius malunion. We evaluated pre- and postoperative residual malpositioning on 3D reconstructions as expressed in six positioning parameters (three displacements along and three rotations about the axes of a 3D anatomical coordinate system) and assessed postoperative wrist range of motion. In this small case series, dorsopalmar tilt was significantly improved (p = 0.05). Ulnoradial shift, however, increased by the correction osteotomy (6 of 8 cases, 75 %). Postoperative 3D evaluation revealed improved positioning parameters for patients in axial rotational alignment (62.5 %), radial inclination (75 %), proximodistal shift (83 %) and volodorsal shift (88 %), although the cohort was not large enough to confirm this by statistical significance. All but one patient experienced improved range of motion (88 %). Computer-assisted 3D planning ameliorates alignment of radial malunions and improves functional results in patients with a symptomatic malunion of the radius. Further development is required to improve transfer of the planned position to the intra-operative bone. Level of evidence IV.



Takahiro Niikura, Sang Yang Lee, Yoshitada Sakai, Kotaro Nishida, Ryosuke Kuroda, Masahiro Kurosaka

Retrograde intramedullary nailing for the treatment of femoral medial condyle fracture nonunion

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:6] [Pages No:117 - 122]

Keywords: Femur, Medial condyle fracture, Nonunion, Retrograde intramedullary nail

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0215-5  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


An unicondylar fracture of the femur is uncommon and of the medial condyle more so. Open reduction and internal fixation of these fractures is most commonly performed with screws or plate and screws. Secure bone fixation is compromised by osteoporosis in elderly patients; additional measures may be required. We report the case of an elderly osteoporotic patient with a medial condyle fracture nonunion treated successfully through retrograde intramedullary nailing. A 78-year-old osteoporotic woman suffered medial condyle fracture of the femur 9 months before visiting our hospital. She had been treated conservatively, and the fracture demonstrated a complete nonunion with gross instability. The edge fragments appeared sclerotic, and the nonunion site was accompanied by a bony defect. Although fixation by a plate and screw is the standard method for the treatment of such fracture, we judged that stability would be difficult to achieve with this method due to the accompanying bony defect and osteoporosis. Thus, we performed open reduction and fixation by retrograde intramedullary nailing with the use of “condyle screw and nut” system, followed by bone grafting. Bony union was successfully obtained. The stability and range of motion of the knee were recovered, and the patient regained the ability to walk. We suggest the unique application of retrograde intramedullary nailing with condyle screw and nut for the treatment of specific, complex cases of femoral medial condyle fracture.



Bas R. J. Aerts, E. J. M. van Heeswijk, Annechien Beumer

Reconstruction of the DRUJ in a young adult after resection of a large exostosis of the distal radius

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:5] [Pages No:123 - 127]

Keywords: Distal radioulnar joint, Forearm, Osteocartilaginous exostoses, Osteochondroma, MO, Reconstruction

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0224-4  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


The prevalence of known solitary exostosis is around 1–2 % in the general population. Treatment of an exostosis may consist of resection with or without further treatment for deformity. The distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) acts as the link between radius and ulna at the wrist and is important in the transmission of load. Its anatomic integrity should be respected in surgical procedures or ulnar-sided wrist pain because of instability, limitation of forearm rotation and potential development of grip weakness may develop. We present a case of reconstruction of the DRUJ with distraction lengthening of the ulna after resection of a large exostosis of the distal radius that had resulted in a malformed and dysplastic ulna. This treatment in a young patient resulted in a stable, functional and congruent distal radioulnar joint.



Leonard Grünwald, Stephan Döbele, Dankward Höntzsch, Theddy Slongo, Ulrich Stöckle, Thomas Freude, Steffen Schröter

Callus massage after distraction osteogenesis using the concept of lengthening then dynamic plating

[Year:2015] [Month:August] [Volume:10] [Number:2] [Pages:7] [Pages No:129 - 135]

Keywords: Dynamic locking screw, Distraction osteogenesis, Multiplanar deformity, Taylor spatial frame, Lengthening then plating

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0233-3  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Correction of complex deformities is a challenging procedure. Long-term wearing of a fixator after correction and lengthening are inconvenient and has a high rate of complication. The goals of the surgical treatment in the presented case were: (1) correction of the deformity and lengthening of the left leg by the Taylor spatial frame (TSF, Smith and Nephew, Marl, Germany); (2) reduction in the time the patient wears the TSF by changing the fixation system to a plate (lengthening then plating—LTP) and using a locking compression plate in conjunction with the 5.0 dynamic locking screws in order to accelerate bone healing.


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