Bone transport is a method, developed by Professor Ilizarov from the Soviet Union, to fill bone defects. The principle of treatment involves the gradual (1 mm/d) transposition of a bone segment across a bone defect using an external fixation device. The bone segment is created by a percutaneous osteotomy (corticotomy). New bone formation is regenerated between the bone ends on opposite sides of the corticotomy. The bone defect length decreases at the same rate as the distraction gap increases. Eventually, the transported segment collides with the bone on the opposite end of the bone defect and unites end to end under compression. The external fixator can be removed after consolidation of the distraction osteogenesis bone in the distraction gap has occurred and the nonunion end has healed. Soft tissue defects can be simultaneously eliminated by soft tissue transport. Thus osteomylitic bone can be radically resected with soft tissue and soft tissue defects eliminated by transport. Experience in the Soviet Union, Europe, and recently in North America has confirmed the efficacy and advantages of this technique in the treatment of bone and soft tissue defects.
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