Outcomes of Ilizarov ring fixation in recalcitrant infected tibial non-unions – a prospective study
1 Trauma and Orthopaedics, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, UK
2 Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, UK
3 Trauma and Orthopaedics, Bangalore Medical College, Bangalore, India
4 Trauma and Orthopaedics, M S Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, India
Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes 2008, 2:6 doi:10.1186/1752-2897-2-6Published: 23 July 2008
Infected non-union of long bones is a problem in the developing countries. Persistent infection, deformity, shortening, bone loss, joint stiffness and disability complicate the non-union. Secondary procedures are often required for correction of bone defects and deformity. Ilizarov method addresses all the above problems simultaneously and offers a panacea for infected non-unions. The stability of the fixation and provision for bone transport allows bridging of bone defects, limb lengthening, early weight bearing ambulation and joint mobilisation.
Aim of the study
To know the suitability of this procedure in recalcitrant infected tibial non-unions in the Indian population and the influence of socio-economic factors in the functional outcome.
Method of study
This was a 3-year prospective study in 22 consecutive patients with an average follow up of 13 months following fracture union. The results were analysed using the ASAMI scoring system.
Of 22 patients in the study, 13 patients who underwent external bone transport, had an average bone gap of 4 cms [2–11 cms] with an average duration of fixation of 9.3 months [6.5–13 months]. There were 4 excellent, 3 good, 4 fair and 2 poor bony results and 1 excellent, 3 good, 6 fair and 2 poor results. 1 patient was lost for follow up at final functional analysis. 9 patients who underwent internal bone transport had an average bone gap of 5.4 cms [1.5–9 cms] with an average duration of fixation of 8.5 months [4–11 months]. There were 3 good 4 fair and 2 poor bony results and 1 good, 3 fair, and 2 poor functional results. Good to excellent results were witnessed in well-motivated patients with adequate social and financial support. Patients with fair to poor results preferred amputation to limb salvage despite the fact that they retained their limbs.
Treatment of infected non-unions of Tibia with Ilizarov ring fixation is effective but for optimal results the treatment needs to be individualised by the treating surgeon with due consideration of the socio-economic factors.