Submuscular Plate Stabilisation After Lengthening: Standard and Modified Techniques
Introduction: Submuscular plating after lengthening shortened the period of external fixation in distraction osteogenesis of the femur. In the femur, where monolateral or ring fixators had been used for the distraction, plates, could be inserted laterally, anteriorly or medially. Specific technical modification of the plate insertion, however, would be necessary to accommodate the femoral varus angular correction created at the end of the distraction, in the pelvic support osteotomy lengthening.
Material and Methods: We reviewed a series of eight cases with standard and modified techniques of plating after lengthening. The amount of lengthening, the period of distraction, the external fixator index and the associated complications were assessed.
Results: The mean lengthening was 5cm, with a range of 3cm to 9cm. The external fixation index, the period of external fixators in days in relation to the length of distraction in cm, was between 18 days/cm to 58 days/cm. One patient with quadriceps contracture, underwent quadriceplasty to improve knee flexion. Three patients with transient knee stiffness had resolution with aggressive physiotherapy. One patient with transient hypoesthesia recovered spontaneously. None of the patients developed joint subluxation, deep infection, re-fracture or implant failures.
Conclusion: Standard and modified techniques of plating after lengthening were safe and required only a short period of external fixation. The modified technique offered an easier way of plate insertion in a deformed bone.
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