Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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2021 | September-December | Volume 16 | Issue 3

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Ahmed Al Ghaithi, Atika Al Bimani, Sultan Al Maskari

Investigating the Growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Its Influence on Osteolysis in Human Bone: An In Vitro Study

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:5] [Pages No:127 - 131]

Keywords: Biofilm, Infection, Osteomyelitis

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1534  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background: Isolation of the causal microorganisms in osteomyelitis presents a major challenge for treating clinicians. Several methods have been proposed to rapidly and accurately identify microorganisms. There has been an increasing interest in using Raman spectroscopy in the field of microbial detection and characterisation. This paper explores the use of Raman spectroscopy identification as one of the most difficult-to-isolate microorganisms causing osteomyelitis. Methods and results: Fresh healthy human bone samples were collected from patients undergoing a total knee replacement. These samples were then inoculated with fresh overnight Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO) cultures. Bacteria growth and bone ultrastructural changes were monitored over a period of 6 weeks. The experiment demonstrated ultrastructural bony destruction caused by osteolytic PAO secretions. Raman-specific spectral signatures related to the cellular membranes of PAO structures were spotted indicating survival of bacteria on the bone surface. Conclusion: This study showed the promising ability of Raman spectroscopy to identify the presence of bacteria on the surface of inoculated bone samples over time. It was able to detect the osteolytic activity of the bacteria as well as ultrastructure specific to PAO virulence. This method may have a role as an aid to existing diagnostic methods for fast and accurate bacterial identification in bone infection.



Todd Stewart, John Ward

Measurement of Wire Deflection on Loading may Indicate Union in Ilizarov Constructs: A Pilot Study

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:6] [Pages No:132 - 137]

Keywords: Frame, Ilizarov, Observational study, Pilot, Union, Wire deflection

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1537  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Introduction: No entirely reliable method to assess union during Ilizarov treatment exists. Premature frame removal results in treatment failure, and alternative methods of assessment warrant investigation. Wire deflection might provide an indication of fracture site deformation on weight-bearing, indicating progress towards union. A previous in vitro study from our group demonstrated this approach may be clinically applicable. We investigated translation of this method into clinical practice in an observational pilot study. Materials and methods: Patients with tibial shaft fractures treated with Ilizarov frames were recruited. A prototype depth gauge was used to measure wire deflection on weight-bearing. Investigators undertaking the measurement were blinded to the clinical stage of treatment, and clinicians caring for the patient were blinded to deflection results. Patient records were reviewed at the end of treatment to determine likely fracture stability at each time point. Deflection per kg of weight applied, per mm from the ring was compared between stable and unstable situations. Results: Thirty-one measurements were obtained in 14 patients. The situation was deemed stable at 13 and unstable at 18 measurements. The median deflection in the stable group was 0.030 microns/kg/mm (IQR 0.005–0.104) and 0.165 microns/kg/mm (IQR 0.072–0.328) in the unstable group. This difference was statistically significant (Wilcoxon Mann–Whitney test p = 0.0014). ROC curve analysis revealed that wire deflection was able to predict clinical stability (AUC 0.84, p <0.0001). Various technical problems were encountered when using the device which would potentially limit its clinical utility in its current form. Conclusion: In this set of observations, wire deflection was significantly associated with clinically and radiologically determined stability. Though various practical limitations were encountered in using the prototype measurement device, this proof-of-concept study supports further development of this approach. The research group plan to develop a smaller, more reliable device for further clinical testing in a larger group of patients.



Carl Fenton, Daniel Henderson, Mikhail Samchukov, Alexander Cherkashin, Hemant Sharma

Comparative Stiffness Characteristics of Ilizarov- and Hexapod-type External Frame Constructs

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:6] [Pages No:138 - 143]

Keywords: Biomechanical analysis, Biomechanical study, Biomechanics, Circular external fixation, Circular frame, Taylor spatial frame

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1539  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background: The Ilizarov method and fixator are clinically recognised for the treatment of fractures, limb salvage and deformity correction. There have been extensive studies determining the basic mechanism for fracture healing using this technique. It is generally accepted that circular frames optimise the mechanical environment by reducing shear strain across the fracture while maintaining axial micromotion so as to promote fracture healing. There have been several new hexapod-type frames introduced into the market over the past 20 years with little comparative research into their biomechanical properties and resultant effects on the fracture environment. Questions/purposes: To investigate the biomechanical behaviours of the TrueLok-Hex (TL-HEX) and Taylor spatial frame (TSF) hexapod-type circular external fixators with comparison to traditional Ilizarov-type (TL-Ilizarov and TSF-Ilizarov) constructs and potential performance in vivo. Methods: Testing was performed on standardised four-ring TSF and TL-HEX constructs matched by identical frames using Ilizarov threaded rod constructs for each set of components. All frames were tested under physiological levels of axial, bending and torsional loading. Load-deformation properties for each construct under each mode of loading were calculated and analysed statistically using ANOVA. Results: Under axial loading, the Ilizarov construct utilising TL-HEX components demonstrated the greatest rigidity followed by the Ilizarov construct using TSF components. Under bending loads, the difference in rigidity between constructs was similar but less marked. Under torsional loading, both hexapod frames were seen to be significantly more rigid than the Ilizarov constructs. Overall deformation around neutral loading was much higher in the TSF frame due to an observed significant “toe-in” laxity in the strut universal joints. The remaining deformation of both hexapod frames was similar with a higher level of TL-HEX rigidity in axial loading and a higher level of TSF rigidity in bending and torsion. Conclusion: In conclusion, both hexapod frame constructs were less rigid under axial loading but more rigid under bending and torsional loads than their comparative Ilizarov constructs. As a result of their Cardan universal joints, the TSF demonstrated greater overall planar strain due to the observed “toe-in” laxity around neutral loading while the TL-HEX, with ball-and-socket universal joints, demonstrated a minimal level of laxity. Beyond the initial deformation due to the preloaded laxity, both hexapod frames responded to loading in a similar manner. There were significant differences in the frames’ mechanical behaviour under different loading conditions but further research is required to determine whether these translate in vivo into clinical significance.



Giuseppe Rollo, Giovanni Vicenti, Roberto Rotini, Ante Prkic, Denise Eygendaal, Luigi Meccariello

Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Using Double Plating with Biological and Artificial Bone Grafting of Aseptic Non-unions of the Distal Humerus: Clinical Results

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:8] [Pages No:144 - 151]

Keywords: Artificial bone grafting, Aseptic non-union, Distal humerus, Patient-reported outcomes, Reconstruction, Revision surgery

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1533  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Aim: Intra-articular non-union of fractures is an uncommon but complex problem because in general, it is characterised by marked instability, pain, strength loss and significant functional limitation. The aim of this study is to report our prospective medium-term outcomes of the treatment of intra-articular, distal humeral aseptic non-unions using open reduction and internal fixation, augmented with artificial bone. Materials and methods: A retrospective case series of 16 patients with intra-articular, aseptic non-unions of the distal humerus was analysed for range of motion, pain, Mayo Elbow Performance Scores (MEPS) and Oxford Elbow Scores (OES) after 12 months. Mean age was 44 years (range, 18–84 years) and mean total follow-up was 43 months (range, 24–62 months). Results: All subjective and objective scores were significantly higher 12 months after treatment with internal fixation and artificial bone augmentation; the mean improvement on the MEPS was 18 points and 17 points on the OES. All patients returned to work, most without limitations. Autografts had worse outcomes compared to allografts regarding post-operative pain and time to return to work. No adverse events related to the artificial bone augmentation were seen and all fractures consolidated. Conclusion: The use of two locking plates and bone graft augmentation with autografts or allografts with artificial bone grafts is a successful treatment of intra-articular distal humeral non-unions after hardware failure or biological limitations. Clinical significance: The use of artificial bone in the treatment of septic non-unions of the upper limb is safe. When no autograft is possible because of concurrent morbidity, it can be used alone or combined with an allograft to reconstruct the affected bone without leading to extra morbidity or complications.



Atul Patil, Dheeraj S Attarde, Askhar Haphiz

A Single Approach for Management of Fractures Involving Both Columns of the Acetabulum: A Case Series of 23 Patients

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:9] [Pages No:152 - 160]

Keywords: Acetabular fracture, Bicolumnar fracture acetabulum, Single-approach acetabulum

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1541  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Aim and objective: To study the radiological and functional outcomes as well as complications in the management of fractures involving both columns of the acetabulum using a single surgical approach. Design: Type IV, prospective clinical study. Setting: Level I trauma centre. Materials and methods: Inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) patients over 20 year of age and (b) patients suffering from acetabular fractures involving both columns as per Letournel and Judet classification, namely transverse, transverse + posterior wall, T type, anterior column posterior hemi-transverse (ACPHT) and associated both columns. Exclusion criteria were as follows: (a) patient suffering from isolated anterior column, posterior column, anterior wall, posterior wall and posterior wall + column fractures; (b) patient who have undergone surgical procedures of the hip prior to trauma; and (c) compound acetabular fractures. A total of 23 patients having both column acetabulum fractures were included prospectively from June 2016 to December 2018 and followed up till 1 year postoperatively. Open reduction and internal fixation were performed through one of three described approaches, i.e., iliofemoral, Kocher-Langenbeck, and anterior intrapelvic or ilioinguinal. Results: Our study population consisted of 30.4% transverse, 39.1% associated both columns, 21.7% T type and 8.7% anterior column + posterior hemi-transverse. Of these, 65.2% were operated using the Kocher-Langenbeck approach, while 30.4% of patients required the anterior intrapelvic approach. The remaining 4.3% of patients were operated by the iliofemoral approach. Anatomic reduction was achieved in 100% of our study population with remaining displacement less than or equal to 1°mm. At 1-year follow-up, all fractures showed a satisfactory union with an excellent Matta index in 100% study subjects. Complications at 1 year included one case of foot drop, which was present preoperatively but failed to improve and one case of post-traumatic arthritis. Average Harris Hip score (HHS) and mean Merle D'Aubigne (MDA) scores suggested good clinical outcomes in the study population. Conclusions: A single approach can be used to achieve good functional and radiological outcomes in carefully selected bicolumnar fractures of the acetabulum, with less approach-related morbidity. Clinical significance: Traditionally, multiple approaches are used for acetabulum fractures involving both columns, but with proper patient selection, single approach can be used with good functional and surgical outcomes.



Ibrahim Natalwala, Cher Bing Chuo, Isla Shariatmadari, Gavin Barlow, Elizabeth Moulder, Joanna Bates, Hemant Sharma

Outcomes and Incidence of Deep Bone Infection in Grade III Diaphyseal Open Tibial Fractures: Circular Fixator vs Intramedullary Nail

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:7] [Pages No:161 - 167]

Keywords: Circular frame, Intramedullary nail, Open fracture, Tibia

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1536  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Introduction: High-energy grade III open fractures of tibia are associated with significant complications and generate debate over the ideal fixation method. This study compares the clinical outcomes for circular frame fixation (CFF) vs intramedullary nail fixation (IMF) in grade III open tibial fractures. Materials and methods: Single-centre retrospective study of patients admitted from January 2008 to December 2016. All patients with grade III open diaphyseal tibial fractures (AO 42 A, B, C), treated with either CFF or IMF, were included. The primary outcome was deep bone infection (DBI). Secondary outcomes were delayed or non-union, secondary intervention, and amputation. Results: A total of 48 limbs in 47 patients had CFF, and 25 limbs in 23 patients had IMF. Median time to definitive fixation was significantly longer for CFF at 9 days (IQR 3–13) compared to IMF at 1 day (IQR 0–3.5) (p <0.001). The DBI rate was significantly lower (2 vs 16%) in the CFF group (p = 0.04). There were 14 limbs (29%) with delayed or non-union in the CFF group vs 5 limbs (20%) in the IMF group. In the CFF group, significantly more limbs required bone grafting for delayed or non-union (p = 0.03). However, there was a greater proportion of limbs in the CFF group with segmental fractures or bone loss (46 vs 4%) and these high-energy fracture patterns were associated with secondary bone grafting (p = 0.005), and with delayed or non-union (p = 0.03). A subgroup analysis of patients without segmental fractures or bone loss treated with either CFF or IMF showed no significant difference in secondary bone grafting (p >0.99) and delayed or non-union rates (p = 0.72). Overall, one patient in each group went on to have an amputation. Conclusion: Our study found that CFF had a lower rate of DBI compared to IMF. Injuries with high-energy fracture patterns (segmental fractures or bone loss) were more likely to have delayed or non-union and require secondary bone grafting. These factors should be considered when selecting the appropriate method of definitive fixation.



Peter M. Stevens, Alex Lancaster, Ansab Khwaja

Talar-tarsal Stabilisation: Goals and Initial Outcomes

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:4] [Pages No:168 - 171]

Keywords: Arthroeresis, Flatfeet, Planovalgus foot, Subtalar instability

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1538  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background: While surgical stabilisation of the subtalar joint (arthroeresis) in children remains controversial in the USA, it is widely practised worldwide, with reportedly good outcomes. We are presenting a series of patients who met our criteria for calcaneal lengthening, but whose parents chose the less invasive option of talo-tarsal stabilisation (TTS). The goal of this surgery was to forestall or prevent hindfoot osteotomy. Materials and methods: With IRB approval, we conducted this retrospective review of 32 patients (60 ft), who underwent TTS for flexible planovalgus deformity and had a minimum of 1-year follow-up. The aetiology was idiopathic for the majority, with a few being neurogenic or syndromic. The age range was 6–15 years; the younger patients had neuromuscular aetiology or underlying syndromes. Concomitant procedures included percutaneous Achilles lengthening (33 ft), Kidner (9 ft) and guided growth for ankle valgus (2). Results: In the early post-immobilisation phase, peroneal spasm occurred in four patients (6 ft). This resolved with Botox injection in the peroneus brevis in three patients and required transfer of the peroneus brevis to the peroneus longus in one patient. At follow-up, ranging from 1 to 4.5 years, 50 implants (83.4%) were retained and the patients reported satisfactory outcomes. Henceforth, those patients will be monitored on a p.r.n. basis. Due to lingering discomfort, implants were repositioned in one and removed in five patients (10 ft = 16.6%). Upon further follow-up, these patients have not manifested recurrent deformity. Therefore, subsequent salvage by osteotomy and/or lengthening of the calcaneus has not been necessary. Conclusion: TTS for the symptomatic flatfoot, combined with other procedures as indicated, offers advantages over the currently more accepted methods of medial shift osteotomy or calcaneal lengthening. The outcome at 1 year is a good forecast of whether or not further treatment will be required. This is a simpler and preferred option as compared to other methods of surgical management and, in our experience, has obviated the need for osteotomy or lengthening of the calcaneus. Level of evidence: IV retrospective case series.



Peter M. Stevens, Andrew Stephens, David Rothberg

Guided Growth for Tibial Recurvatum

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:4] [Pages No:172 - 175]

Keywords: Genu recurvatum, Guided growth, Tibial recurvatum

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1535  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Aim and objective: Sagittal guided growth of the distal anterior femur has been shown to be effective for the correction of fixed knee flexion deformity that is encountered in clinical practice. The opposite deformity, namely genu recurvatum, is comparatively uncommon in children. The most common aetiology is post-traumatic. Acute correction by means of osteotomy has significant associated risks. Our objective was to determine whether a posterior 8-plate would suffice in correcting tibial recurvatum and obviate the need for an osteotomy. Materials and methods: We included a total of five deformities, three boys (one bilateral) and one girl, managed by means of tethering of the posterior proximal tibial physis with a tension band plate. Standard radiographs obtained preoperatively and at follow-up included a standing anteroposterior (AP) of the legs noting limb lengths and the mechanical axis. We also obtained standing lateral views of each knee in maximal extension to measure and compare the posterior proximal tibial angle (PPTA). Results: The same-day surgery was well tolerated and there were no surgical or post-operative complications. The preoperative PPTA ranged from 106° to 117° and averaged 84° at follow-up. Correction occurred in an average of 20 months (range of 18–24 months). The patient with bilateral recurvatum due to Hurler's syndrome developed unilateral recurrent recurvatum culminating in percutaneous reinsertion of the metaphyseal screw. For each patient, knee hyperextension and associated pseudo-laxity resolved and limb lengths remained equal at follow-up. Conclusion: Children with progressive genu recurvatum typically present with an insidious onset of symptoms. Guided growth of the posterior proximal tibia is a safe and effective means of correcting the deformity; osteotomy was avoided in this series. Level of evidence: III – retrospective case series – no controls.



Esmee Irvine, Elliott Cochrane, David M Taylor, Waseem Bhat, Chris West

Surgical Exposure of the Distal Fibula to Protect the Peroneus Brevis Muscle Vascular Pedicle

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:3] [Pages No:176 - 178]

Keywords: Ankle fracture, Fibula fracture, Limb reconstruction, Muscle flap, Orthoplastics, Peroneus brevis

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1540  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Ankle fractures are a common presentation to orthopaedic surgeons, with the lateral malleolus involved in 86% of cases. A soft tissue injury can be a concomitant feature of these injuries as a result of the primary injury or following secondary wound breakdown. The peroneus brevis muscle flap provides a reliable and robust option to cover the distal third of the lower limb. With an understanding of the anatomy and cautious dissection during periosteal elevation, the perforating vessels supplying the peroneus brevis can be preserved ensuring that a valuable reconstructive option is available.



Lee S Hee, Kim Hyung-Sik, Hong-Chul Lim

Distal Forearm Replantation in a Child: A Case Report with a 30-year Follow-up

[Year:2021] [Month:September-December] [Volume:16] [Number:3] [Pages:5] [Pages No:179 - 183]

Keywords: Case report, Distal forearm replantation, Replantation in children, Upper limb replantation

   DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1532  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Background: Amputation in the upper extremities influenced the quality of life a lot adversely. So, replantation was tried in many cases of amputation. Especially, due to good plasticity and healing capacity, replantation in children should be actively attempted. On the contrary, owing to growth potential in children, there are several late complications to happen like shortening and synostosis. There are only a few long-term follow-up reports of paediatric patients after replantation of upper extremities. We report a case of successful distal forearm replantation in a 2-year-old child who sustained a wringer injury by a sawing machine with a follow-up of 30 years. Case description: A 2-year-old female patient was brought to our institution after a wringer injury to the distal forearm by a sawing machine. She sustained a near-total amputation at the distal forearm level with only a skin tag. Replantation was performed 4 hours after the injury. Radius and ulnar fractures were fixed with Kirschner and roll wires. The radial and ulnar arteries were anastomosed and three veins were anastomosed too. The median, ulnar, and radial nerves were managed by epi-perineurorrhaphy. The muscles were readapted, flexor tendons were performed tenorrhaphy each by each, and extensor tendons were performed grouping tenorrhaphy. Ten years after the replantation, a supination motion block was developed but successfully managed. Conclusion: Replantation of upper limbs in children is an eceedingly worthwhile procedure. Though due to growth potential several complications were developed unlikely in adults. But those can be improved with additional procedures. Good plasticity and healing capacity of children make good functional outcomes in long-term follow-up. So, replantation of upper limbs in children should essentially be considered and aggressively performed.


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