Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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2007 | April | Volume 2 | Issue 1

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J. Dargel, M. Gotter, K. Mader, D. Pennig, J. Koebke, R. Schmidt-Wiethoff

Biomechanics of the anterior cruciate ligament and implications for surgical reconstruction

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:12] [Pages No:1 - 12]

Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament, ACL reconstruction, Biomechanics, Graft fixation, Graft tension

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0016-6  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is regarded as critical to the physiological kinematics of the femoral-tibial joint, its disruption eventually causing long-term functional impairment. Both the initial trauma and the pathologic motion pattern of the injured knee may result in primary degenerative lesions of the secondary stabilisers of the knee, each of which are associated with the early onset of osteoarthritis. Consequently, there is a wide consensus that young and active patients may profit from reconstructing the ACL. Several factors have been identified as significantly influencing the biomechanical characteristics and the functional outcome of an ACL reconstructed knee joint. These factors are: (1) individual choice of autologous graft material using either patellar tendon-bone grafts or quadrupled hamstring tendon grafts, (2) anatomical bone tunnel placement within the footprints of the native ACL, (3) adequate substitute tension after cyclic graft preconditioning, and (4) graft fixation close to the joint line using biodegradable graft fixation materials that provide an initial fixation strength exceeding those loads commonly expected during rehabilitation. Under observance of these factors, the literature encourages mid-to long-term clinical and functional outcomes after ACL reconstruction.



N. Giotakis, B. Narayan

Stability with unilateral external fixation in the tibia

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:8] [Pages No:13 - 20]

Keywords: External fixation, Fracture, Tibia, Biomechanics, Stability

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0011-y  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Unilateral external fixation can be used in the provisional or definitive treatment of tibial fractures. A properly applied fixator allows bony and soft tissue stability, whereas an improperly applied fixator achieves neither and can be a hindrance. The principles for the successful application of monolateral external fixation, including the rationale for choosing this type of device, the assembly of its components and deciding on planes of application, are discussed in this article.



H. Shalaby, H. Hefny

Correction of complex foot deformities using the V-osteotomy and the Ilizarov technique

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:10] [Pages No:21 - 30]

Keywords: Ilizarov, V-osteotomy, Complex foot deformities, Gradual correction, External fixation

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0015-7  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Complex foot deformity is a multiplanar deformity with or without foot shortening. It also includes deformed feet with poor soft-tissue coverage, relapsed or neglected cases, and those with acompanying problems such as leg-length discrepancy, lower leg deformity, osteomyelitis and nonunions. Traditionally, correction of these deformities can be achieved by extensive soft tissue releases, osteotomies or arthrodesis with or without internal fixation. This usually involves excision of large appropriate bony wedges and has many disadvantages, including neurovascular injury, soft tissue problems and a shortened foot. We present our experience with a group of severe deformities of the foot that we managed using the V-osteotomy combined with the Ilizarov technique. We present our algorithm of management of complex foot and ankle deformities, together with our prerequisites for patient selection. A detailed description of the operative technique, postoperative care and possible complications is also presented. The combination of the Ilizarov technique and the V-osteotomy offers versatility in foot deformity correction, enabling correction of individual components of the deformity at rates that may be tailored to achieve accurate three-dimensional control.



Denise Eygendaal, R. J. Hillen

Open reduction and corrective ulnar osteotomy for missed radial head dislocations in children

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:4] [Pages No:31 - 34]

Keywords: Elbow, Radial head, Dislocation, Reduction

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0013-9  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


The treatment of chronic radial head dislocation remains controversial. Open reduction of the radial head in combination with correction of malalignment with ulnar osteotomy can be the key to a good surgical result. Between 2001 and 2006, 9 (6 female, 3 male, average age 8.4 (5-11) years) patients were treated surgically for chronic radial head dislocation by one surgeon. The time between trauma and surgery was 7 (1.5-14) months. The procedure consisted of open reduction of the dislocated radial head and reconstruction of the annular ligament in combination with an ulnar osteotomy. An upper arm cast was applied with the forearm in neutral rotation for six weeks. Plates were removed in all patients. Clinical and radiological evaluation took place preoperatively and after an average of 23 (10-49) months. At radiograph 8/9 showed a reduced radial head; in one an anterior subluxation was seen. The range of motion remained the same in 4 patients who had a full range of motion preoperatively. In 2/5 patients with loss of range of motion preoperatively, improvement was seen. There were no serious surgical complications beside one infection. Open reduction and corrective ulnar osteotomy shows good results for missed radial head dislocations in children.



F. Lavini, E. Carità, C. Dall Oca, R. Bortolazzi, G. Gioia, L. Bonometto, A. Sandri, P. Bartolozzi

Internal femoral osteosynthesis after external fixation in multiple-trauma patients

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:4] [Pages No:35 - 38]

Keywords: Femoral fractures, Damage control orthopaedics, Internal femoral osteosynthesis, External fixation

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0012-x  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


In this study the authors evaluate the results of internal synthesis of femoral fractures in polytraumatised patients initially treated by external fixation (EF). From January 2002 to December 2005, 39 femurs in 37 polytraumatised patients (average age 34.2 years, range 18-44) with closed fractures and an ISS>20 were initially treated with EF. There were three groups: Group A, 13 cases when conversion to internal osteosynthesis occurred after 4-7 days (average 5.6 days); Group B, 11 cases with a 4-6-month interval before internal osteosynthesis, and after investigation using MRI and scintigraphy with labelled leucocytes; Group C, the remaining cases treated definitively with EF. Time of healing, lower limb function, time of return to previous activities and short and long-term complications were evaluated at the follow-up. The average time of follow-up was 23 months. In Group A the time of bone healing was 123 days; there were no events of embolism but one case of pseudoarthrosis and one case of instrument failure. In Group B the time of bone healing was 274 days, with one case of pseudoarthrosis and one case of deep infection. In Group C the average healing time was 193 days, with 3 cases of screw (half-pin) osteolysis. Functional recovery was delayed by the presence of other fractures. EF is a simple, quick and safe procedure to stabilise fractures in polytraumatised patients. According to damage control orthopaedic (DCO) concepts, it is possible to replace EF with internal synthesis after an interval as this reduces the risks of internal osteosynthesis when performed in the emergency period. EF can also be maintained as definitive treatment but should a change to internal synthesis be needed, it is possible to do it safely after excluding bone infection.



K. Mader, C. C. Verheyen, T. Gausepohl, D. Pennig

Minimally invasive ankle arthrodesis with a retrograde locking nail after failed fusion

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:9] [Pages No:39 - 47]

Keywords: Ankle arthrodesis, Failed fusion, Retrograde nail, Calcaneotalotibial arthrodesis

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0018-4  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


A retrograde nail with posterior-to-anterior (PA) locking into os calcis, talus and tibia was used to correct deformity and achieve fusion after failed fusion. A variety of methods have been published to achieve union of the ankle and subtalar joint in a failed fusion situation. We have studied a retrograde locking nail technique through a 2.5-cm incision in the non-weightbearing part of the sole of the foot. Remaining cartilage in the ankle joint, where necessary, was percutaneously removed through an anterior approach and the locking nail was inserted after reaming of os calcis, talus and tibia. Locking screw insertion was in the sagittal plane (p.a. direction), in talus os calcis and tibial diaphysis using a nail mounted jig. Ten patients were entered in the study (age 27-60 years). The initial aetiology for attempted fusion was post-traumatic in nine cases and rheumatic in one case. There were 25 previous operations in the cohort not leading to fusion. An additional temporary external fixator was used in four cases to reach and maintain the optimum position for the procedure. The intervention time was 30-75 min. Dynamisation of the nail was performed after four months under local anaesthesia. The mean duration of follow-up was 4 years (3-5.5 years). Radiologically and clinically, fusion was achieved in 16 weeks (range, 12-20 weeks). There was no loosening of the implant or implant failure. A leg length discrepancy was avoided using this technique. There was one complication with varus malunion in a heavy smoker which united after corrective osteotomy, revision nailing and bone grafting. Patient satisfaction was measured on a scale (not visual analogue) of 0 (not satisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied); overall satisfaction averaged 9.5 points (range, 6-10 points). The postoperative ankle-hindfoot score of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society averaged 73.5 points (range, 61-81 points). Retrograde locked nailing with locking in the sagittal plane is a reliable minimally invasive procedure to achieve fusion of the ankle and the subtalar joint after failed fusion.



T. Gausepohl, K. Mader, S. Kirchner, D. Pennig

The “floating forearm” injury in a child: a case report

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:7] [Pages No:48 - 54]

Keywords: Forearm injury, Elbow fracture dislocation, Hinged external fixation, Floating elbow injury

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0017-5  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


The case of a eleven-year-old girl who had a fracture dislocation of the left elbow with entrapment of the ulnar nerve into the dislocated ulnar epicondyle anlage and unstable forearm fracture of the ipslateral upper extremity is described. This severe injury to the elbow and the ipsilateral forearm is termed “floating forearm” injury. The forearm was stabilized percutaneously and the elbow fracture dislocation, remaining unstable after internal fixation was treated with a pediatric elbow fixator with motion capacity.



C. C. Verheyen, R. M Castelein

A life without pain: a case report

[Year:2007] [Month:April] [Volume:2] [Number:1] [Pages:2] [Pages No:55 - 56]

Keywords: Congenital, Insensitivity, Pain, Charcot

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-007-0014-8  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Congenital insensitivity to pain is a rare condition with an abnormality of interpretation of painful stimuli. This case report illustrates how a sequence of injuries after no or trivial trauma incapacitated a young boy. Especially the bilateral collapse and dislocation of the hip is an unusual sequela of this disorder.


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