Closed External Fixation for Failing or Failed Femoral Shaft Plating in a Developing Country RC04-RC06
Dr. Adil Aliakbar,
College of Medicine, Aljamiaa Street, Al-hilla-00964, Babil, Iraq.
Introduction: Femoral shaft fractures are one of the common injuries that is treated by open reduction, with internal fixation by plate and screws or intramedullary nailing, which can achieve a high union rate.
Aim: To evaluate the outcome of using closed external fixation to augment a failing plate; with signs of screw loosening and increasing bone/plate gap; a failed plate; broken plate; screws completely out of bone with redisplacement of fracture.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study on 18 patients, aged between 17-42 years, who presented between 6-18 weeks after initial surgical fixation, with pain, difficulty in limb function, deformity and abnormal movement at fracture site, was done. X-Rays showed plating failure with acceptable amount of callus, which unfortunately had refractured. Cases associated with infection and no radiological evidence of callus formation were excluded from this study. Closed reduction was done by manipulation, then fracture fixation by AO external fixator. The patients were encouraged for full weight bearing as early as possible with dynamization later on.
Results: Of the 18 patients who underwent external fixation after close reduction, 15 cases showed bone healing in a period between 11-18 weeks (mean of 14.27 weeks) with good alignment (Radiologically). Removal of external fixator was done followed by physical therapy thereafter.
Conclusion: Closed external fixation for treatment of failing or failed femoral plating, achieves good success rate and has less complications, is a short time procedure, especially in a hospital with limited resources.