[Tissue transplantation with bone transmission for treating large defects of tibial bone and soft tissue]

Huiren Liu, Lixin Wang, Yanmao Zhang, Zhanyong Yu, Zhiwang Liu, Guohua Li, Gang Zhao, Kejia Hu
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2013, 27 (3): 295-8

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of tissue transplantation combined with bone transmission in treatment of large defects of tibial bone and soft tissue.

METHODS: Between February 2006 and February 2011, 15 cases of traumatic tibia bone and soft tissue defects were treated. There were 12 males and 3 females, aged from 16 to 54 years (mean, 32 years). After internal and external fixations of fracture, 11 patients with open fracture (Gustilo type III) had skin necrosis, bone exposure, and infection; after open reduction and internal fixation, 2 patients with closed fracture had skin necrosis and infection; and after limb replantation, 2 patients had skin necrosis and bone exposure. The area of soft tissue defect ranged from 5 cm x 5 cm to 22 cm x 17 cm. Eight cases had limb shortening with an average of 3.5 cm (range, 2-5 cm) and angular deformity. The lenghth of bone defect ranged from 4 to 18 cm (mean, 8 cm). The flap transplantation and skin graft were used in 9 and 6 cases, respectively; bone transmission and limb lengthening orthomorphia were performed in all cases at 3 months after wound healing; of them, 2 cases received double osteotomy bone transmission, and 14 cases received autologous bone graft and reset after apposition of fracture ends.

RESULTS: All flaps and skin grafts survived; the wound healed at 3.5 months on average (range, 3 weeks-18 months). The length of bone lengthening was 6-22 cm (mean, 8 cm). The time of bone healing and removal of external fixation was 9.5-39.0 months (mean, 15 months). The healing index was 40-65 days/cm (mean, 55 days/cm). All patients were followed up 1-5 years (mean, 4 years). The wounds of all the cases healed well without infection or ulceration. The functions of weight-bearing and walking were recovered; 6 cases had normal gait and 9 cases had claudication. The knee range of motion was 0 degrees in extention, 120-160 degrees in flexion (mean, 150 degrees). According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) scoring system for ankle function, the results were excellent in 7 cases, good in 4 cases, and fair in 4 cases, with an excellent and good rate of 73.3%.

CONCLUSION: Tissue transplantation combined with bone transmission is an effective method to treat large defects of soft tissue and tibial bone, which can increase strength of bone connection and reduce damage to the donor site.

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