Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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2012 | August | Volume 7 | Issue 2

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Mark L. Prasarn, David L. Helfet, Peter Kloen

Management of the mangled extremity

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:10] [Pages No:57 - 66]

Keywords: Mangled extremity, Limb salvage, MESS, Fracture

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0137-4  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


The management of a mangled extremity continues to be a matter of debate. With modern advances in trauma resuscitation, microvascular tissue transfer, and fracture fixation, severe traumatic extremity injuries that would historically have been amputated are often salvaged. Even if preserving a mangled limb is a technical possibility, the question is often raised whether the end result will also be functional and what treatment would lead to the best patient outcome. The road to salvage is often prolonged with significant morbidity, reoperations, financial costs, and even mortality in some instances. Numerous factors have been implicated in the outcome of these injuries, and a number of scoring systems have been designed in an attempt to help guide the treating surgeon in the acute phase. However, much controversy remains on the ability of these grading systems to predict successful salvage of the mangled extremity. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of injury, various available scoring systems, initial management, outcome and specific differences between lower and upper extremity trauma injuries.



Leonard Charles Marais

Prevention and management of external fixator pin track sepsis

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:6] [Pages No:67 - 72]

Keywords: Pin site, Infection, Complications, External fixation

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0139-2  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Pin track-associated complications are almost universal findings with the use of external fixation. These complications are catastrophic if it leads to the failure of the bone–pin interface and could lead to pin loosening, fracture non-union and chronic osteomyelitis. Strategies proposed for the prevention and management of pin track complications are diverse and constantly changing. Prevention of external fixation pin track infection is a complex and ongoing task that requires attention to detail, meticulous surgical technique and constant vigilance.



Sjoerd A. S. Stufkens, Michel P. J. van den Bekerom, Markus Knupp, Beat Hintermann, C. Niek van Dijk

The diagnosis and treatment of deltoid ligament lesions in supination–external rotation ankle fractures: a review

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:13] [Pages No:73 - 85]

Keywords: Ankle fracture, Deltoid ligament, Stability, Diagnosis, Treatment

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0140-9  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


The supination–external rotation or Weber B type fracture exists as a stable and an unstable type. The unstable type has a medial malleolus fracture or deltoid ligament lesion in addition to a fibular fracture. The consensus is the unstable type and best treated by open reduction and internal fixation. The diagnostic process for a medial ligament lesion has been well investigated but there is no consensus as to the best method of assessment. The number of deltoid ruptures as a result of an external rotation mechanism is higher than previously believed. The derivation of the injury mechanism could provide information of the likely ligamentous lesion in several fracture patterns. The use of the Lauge-Hansen classification system in the assessment of the initial X-ray images can be helpful in predicting the involvement of the deltoid ligament but the reliability in terms of sensitivity and specificity is unknown. Clinical examination, stress radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, arthroscopy, and ultrasonography have been used to investigate medial collateral integrity in cases of ankle fractures. None of these has shown to possess the combination of being cost-effective, reliable and easy to use; currently gravity stress radiography is favoured and, in cases of doubt, arthroscopy could be of value. There is a disagreement as to the benefit of repair by suture of the deltoid ligament in cases of an acute rupture in combination with a lateral malleolar fracture. There is no evidence found for suturing but exploration is thought to be beneficial in case of interposition of medial structures.


Original Article

Jasper Winkelhagen, Michel P. J. van den Bekerom, Hugo W. Bolhuis, Mike Hogervorst

Preliminary results of cannulated screw fixation for isolated pubic ramus fractures

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:5] [Pages No:87 - 91]

Keywords: Pubic ramus, Fracture fixation, Osteosynthesis, Canulated intramedullary screw, Elderly

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0134-7  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Isolated pubic ramus fractures are common fractures in the elderly, and treatment is typically non-operative. Up to 35 % of patients have a prolonged hospital stay due to pain. A small number of these patients do not respond to standard (non-operative) treatment. We retrospectively reviewed six patients with isolated pubic ramus fractures and persistent pain who were treated with percutaneous retrograde pubic ramus screw fixation. The study group consisted of six women with an average age of 81 years (72–86 years). Patients with symptomatic posterior pelvic ring injuries were excluded. All patients showed improvement after surgery, with three patients pain free and three patients with reduced pain. The mean time spent in the hospital was 9 days (range 3–18 days). There were complications post-operatively: two patients had pneumonia, two with confusional states, and one patient had a urinary tract infection. Despite these events, which are associated with surgery in patients with comorbidites from advanced age, retrograde pubic ramus screw fixation is an effective treatment option for patients with persistent pain from isolated pubic fractures.


Original Article

John J. Gillooly, Konstantinos Tilkeridis, Robert B. Simonis, Fergal Monsell

The treatment of high tibial osteotomy non-union with the Ilizarov external fixator

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:5] [Pages No:93 - 97]

Keywords: Non-union, High tibial osteotomy, Ilizarov, External fixator, Circular frame

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0138-3  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


To evaluate the results of the Ilizarov external fixator in the treatment of non-union post–high tibial osteotomy (HTO). Five non-unions, in four patients, following HTO were treated by Ilizarov fixation. Clinical outcome was assessed pre- and post-operatively by the Knee Society Clinical Rating System (KSCRS). Radiological analysis assessed bone healing pre- and post-operatively and measured proximal tibial alignment. All cases healed with a mean time of 25 ± 3 weeks (Mean ± SD) (range, 24–30 weeks) in the fixator. The clinical and radiological outcome improved in all cases. Four knees were initially in excessive varus and underwent correction of alignment, as measured by medial proximal tibial angle (MPTA), from 75.5° ± 8.4° (mean ± SD) to 90.2° ± 2.7° (normal range, 85°–90°). One patient was in excessive valgus and had a correction of MPTA from 100° to 87°. The KSCRS knee score improved from 35.6 ± 10.8 to 86.6 ± 13.9 (mean ± SD) (normal score = 100) and the functional score from 37.8 ± 11.8 to 85.4 ± 10.5 (mean ± SD) (normal score = 100). The Ilizarov technique is a minimally invasive method that produces excellent clinical, radiological and functional outcomes.



Shingo Komura, Hidehiko Nonomura, Takashi Satake, Tatsuo Yokoi

Bilateral Galeazzi fracture-dislocations: a case report of early rehabilitation

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:6] [Pages No:99 - 104]

Keywords: Galeazzi fracture-dislocations, Open reduction and internal fixation, Distal radioulnar joint, Rehabilitation

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0136-5  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


A 24-year-old man had bilateral Galeazzi fracture-dislocations due to a motorcycle accident. The right radius fracture was a simple fracture and was fixed with a limited contact dynamic compression plate. The left radius fracture was a comminuted fracture and was fixed with a long locking compression plate in the bridging plate fashion while maintaining reduction with a temporary external fixator. Postoperative computed tomography under passive rotation of both forearms showed acceptable congruency of the distal radioulnar joints, and early rehabilitation of forearm rotation was started at 2 weeks after the operation. At 13-month follow-up, bone union of both fractures was achieved, and forearm motion was almost restored to normal. Moreover, no subluxation or dislocation of either distal radioulnar joint was observed.



Diederik Groot, Anouk M. E. Giesberts, Jan B. A. van Mourik

Spontaneous scapular spine fracture related to rotator cuff pathology: a report of two cases

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:3] [Pages No:105 - 107]

Keywords: Spontaneous fracture, Scapula, Cuff arthropathy

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0135-6  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Spontaneous fractures of the scapula are rare, especially those involving the scapular spine. There are only a few case reports addressing this topic. Two cases are presented of spontaneous scapular spine fractures in patients with cuff-tear arthropathy. Treatment was conservative, resulting in a stiff shoulder in both patients. The combination of oral steroids and cuff-tear arthropathy seems to have caused a spontaneous scapular spine fracture in these patients. Considering the risk of operative intervention in the elderly patient conservative treatment seems a reasonable alternative.



Balaji Zacharia, Kishore Puthezhath

Abductor pollicis longus tendon division with swan neck thumb deformity

[Year:2012] [Month:August] [Volume:7] [Number:2] [Pages:4] [Pages No:109 - 112]

Keywords: Isolated division, Abductor pollicis longus tendon, Swan neck thumb deformity

   DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0141-8  |  Open Access |  How to cite  | 


Swan neck thumb deformity can be caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, tendon transfers and paralytic diseases. Abductor pollicis longus is one of the major stabilizing tendon of the carpometacarpal joint of thumb. To the best of our knowledge, swan neck thumb deformity owing to division of abductor pollicis longus tendon is rare. In this article, we describe a case of isolated division of abductor pollicis longus tendon presenting with swan-neck deformity of thumb and discuss the mechanism, management and outcome. The patient was treated by repair of the divided tendon using palmaris longus tendon graft. At approximately 107 weeks following treatment, the patient was having full range of thumb movement and the deformity completely disappeared. We also describe the unusual mechanism whereby an isolated division of abductor pollicis longus tendon results in swan neck thumb deformity. Level of clinical evidence IV.


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