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External fixators in the treatment of fractures in children

El Hayek, Toni; Daher, Ahmad Abou; Meouchy, Wissam; Ley, Paul; Chammas, Nizar; Griffet, Jacques

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics B: March 2004 - Volume 13 - Issue 2 - pp 103-109
Traumas

New properties are being modified in the external fixator instrumentation that are leading to the more indicated use of this type of fixation especially in children's lower limb fractures. Dynamization, the ability to lengthen the limb and easy wound care are among the new properties of the monoplane external fixator, along with greater stability than older models. These new properties are now making the external fixator an indication rather than a choice in many cases. We have retrospectively studied 21 children with lower limb fractures treated by 28 external fixators. The results of this study show advantages such as lower infection rate, consolidation without the need of reoperation, easy physiotherapy, easy wound care and the ability to perform shortening and lengthening in the same set. Disadvantages are mostly complications that are due to the external fixation such as iatrogenic vascular lesions, pins tract infections and iatrogenic fractures.

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Hospital of Archet, University of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, France

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr Jacques Griffet, Service de Chirurgie Infantile, Hôpital de l'Archet BP 3079, 06202 Nice cedex 3, France

E-mail: griffet.j@chu-nice.fr

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.