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The Use of External Fixators in Femur Fractures in Children

Sanctis, N. de M.D.; Gambardella, A. M.D.; Pempinello, C. M.D.; Mallano, P. M.D.; Corte, S. Della M.D.


Summary Between 1988 and 1993, 81 children with 82 femur fractures were treated with external fixators at the Santobono Children's Hospital of Naples. This technique was reserved for children older than 6 years with open fractures, multiple fractures, multiple trauma, and unstable fractures. The patients were placed in skin traction on admission, and after 24-48 h, the external fixator was applied under general anesthesia. Therefore, within 1 week the children were able to take care of themselves and to attend school. The fixator was very well tolerated and was removed 8-9 weeks later. The fractures healed with good alignment, no complications with few cases of superficial infections, and less overgrowth. The use of external fixation is recommended for its simplicity and lack of complications.

Study conducted at the Santobono Children's Hospital, Naples, Italy

From the Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Santobono Children's Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. N. de Sanctis, II Divisione di Ortopedia e Traumatologia, Ospedale Santobono, Via Mario Fiore, 6-80129 Naples, Italy.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.