Outcome of bilateral circular fixators in complex lower limb fractures

Mkize, S. ; Ferreira, Ν. (2017)

CITATION: Mkize, S. & Ferreira, Ν. 2017. Outcome of bilateral circular fixators in complex lower limb fractures. South African Orthopaedic Journal, 16(3):51-54, doi:10.17159/2309-8309/2017/v16n3a7.

The original publication is available at http://journal.saoa.org.za/index.php/saoj


Circular external fixators are increasingly being used for complex lower limb trauma. When these injuries are sustained to both lower limbs, the ideal management is unclear. We present the results of 25 consecutive patients who were treated with bilateral circular external fixators for complex tibial trauma. The final cohort consisted of 23 men and two women with a mean age of 31.8 years (range 21-62 years) and a median follow-up was 16.4 months (range 6-37 months). Bony union was achieved in 96% (48 out of 50) of the tibia fractures. The mean time to union was 26 weeks (range 13-71 weeks). Serious complications included chronic osteomyelitis that developed in one patient following a high-grade open fracture and unilateral non-unions in two patients. Bilateral circular external fixators are a viable treatment option for patients who sustain bilateral complex lower limb trauma.

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