The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and functional outcomes of traumatic bone defects
of the lower extremity managed by internal bone transport
using the Ilizarov
We retrospectively reviewed 19 patients who underwent internal bone transport
for traumatic bone defects
in the lower extremity. Mean follow-up was 68.7 months (5.7 years). Eighteen cases were open: grade IIIA, 10 cases; grade IIIB, 4 cases; and grade IIIC, 4 cases.
Clinical outcome was 2 excellent, 11 good, 4 fair, and 2 poor. Eighteen of 19 patients reported being satisfied. The results of the SF-36 Health Survey showed a significant difference between the population norm and the mean of the study group in Physical Functioning, Bodily Pain, and Role-Emotional. The mean length of time in external fixation for all patients was 13.8 months. The mean length of regenerate was 5.7 cm (range, 0.8–20.4 cm). The total number of complications was 39 (20 minor and 19 major). Major complications included two transtibial amputations and four fractures at the docking site.
Although the number of complications was high, the patients in this study were satisfied to have their limbs preserved. The SF-36 Health Survey showed that patients suffer mainly from physical and emotional consequences after these major injuries. Their general, social, and mental health is usually not affected. Infection significantly increased the healing index. The limb should be protected for a long time, with careful evaluation to avoid fracture at the docking site after fixator removal.