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Between 1979 and 1991 ipsilateral vascularized fibular transposition was performed on eight patients with segmental tibial defects following injury. We report these cases with a minimum follow-up of 2.5 years. All the tibial defects were the result of severe open fractures (Gustilo Grade III) and either bone loss or infected non-union, and ranged in size from 1 to 12 cm. The patients had an average of seven procedures and a delay of 33 months before fibular transfer. The procedure was successful in achieving fracture union in all cases, with an average time to union of 15 months (range, 5–33 months). Shortening of up to 3 cm and some residual ankle stiffness was found, but all patients were ambulating bearing full weight and six had returned to their previous occupation by their final follow-up. Only one patient had significant pain affecting function. This is a successful and relatively simple technique compared to microvascular and bone transport procedures for reconstructing segmental tibial defects with relatively avascular graft beds.
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Accepted: April 25, 1996
© 1996 Published by Elsevier Inc.