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Ilizarov Technique in the Treatment of Congenital Pseudarthrosis of the Tibia

Ghanem, I.*†; Damsin, J.; Carlioz, H.


Summary: This study analyzes the risks and benefits of Ilizarov's technique in congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT). This was a retrospective review of 14 patients treated between 1985 and 1993 for CPT, by using Ilizarov's technique. In 12 cases, this technique was used after failure of previous surgical treatment. Realignment, end-to-end compression, and leg lengthening were undertaken in all the cases, without excision of the pseudarthrosis site. The mean fixation duration was 7.8 months. Union was achieved with the initial treatment in seven cases. Bone grafting was used in six of the seven remaining cases and achieved bone healing in three of them. Refracture occurred in one case, and ended with nonunion. At 3.5-year average follow-up, the tibia was united in nine cases. We found that the best indications for Ilizarov's technique in CPT were the normotrophic and hypertrophic types of pseudarthrosis (Apoil II), after the age of 5 years. Secondary massive bone grafting is to be considered in some cases. The major disadvantage of this method is the lack of excision of the pseudarthrosis site. Even after healing is achieved, the bone remains dystrophic and fragile and necessitates a permanent protective orthosis, until the end of bone growth.

From the *Hotel-Dieu de France University Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon; and Hôpital d'Enfants Armand Trousseau, Paris, France.

Study conducted at the Hôpital d'Enfants Armand Trousseau, Paris, France

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Jean-Paul Damsin at Hôpital d'Enfants Armand Trousseau, 26 Av. du Docteur Arnold Netter, 75571, Paris, Cedex 12, France.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.