[Repair of large tibial bone and soft tissue defects by shortening-lengthening method]

Qudong Yin, Zhenzhong Sun, Sanjun Gu, Xuming Wei, Sheng Song, Yunhong Ma
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2013, 27 (12): 1462-5

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of shortening-lengthening method using Ilizarov technique for repairing large tibial bone and soft tissue defects.

METHODS: Between January 2006 and December 2011, 12 patients with large tibial bone and soft tissue defects were treated by shortening-lengthening method using Ilizarov technique. There were 8 males and 4 females with an average age of 39.3 years (range, 18-65 years). The causes were injury in 8 cases and chronic infection in 4 cases. The area of soft tissue defect was 5 cm x 4 cm to 20 cm x 16 cm, and the length of tibial bone defect was 4.5-8.0 cm with an average of 6.2 cm.

RESULTS: Incision in the lengthening area healed by first intention; healing of wounds by first intention was achieved in 6 cases, delayed healing in 2 cases, and secondary healing in 4 cases, with no common peroneal nerve injury. All patients were followed up 18-54 months with an average of 29 months. In the lengthening area, the bone healing time was 180-365 days (mean, 267 days), and the healing index was 3.8-4.3 days/mm (mean, 4.1 days/mm). In the shortening area, the bone healing time was 195-380 days (mean, 297 days) in the others except 1 case who was repaired with bone grafting. Mild pin-related infection and loosening were observed in all cases, but no infection occurred in the lengthening or shortening area. At last follow-up, weight bearing of the leg was fully recovered in 12 cases. According to Mazur's criteria, the function of ankle was excellent in 2 cases, good in 6 cases, and fair in 4 cases. Nine patients had equal limb length, and 3 patients had shortened length less than 2 cm.

CONCLUSION: Shortening-lengthening method using Ilizarov technique has the advantages of simple surgery, less complications, easy to close the wound, and good effectiveness in repairing of large tibial bone and soft tissue defects.

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