Research Article| Volume 31, ISSUE 3, P153-162, April 2000

Treatment of extensive bone and soft tissue defects of the lower limb by traction and free-flap transfer

  • Dragica Smrke
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +386-61-143-1419; fax: +386-61-142-3664
    Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Surgery, University Medical Centre, Zaloška 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Department of Surgery, Division of Traumatology, University Medical Centre, Zaloška 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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  • Zoran M. Arnež
    Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery and Burns, University Medical Centre, Zaloška 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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      Twenty patients with extensive bone and soft tissue defects and posttraumatic osteomyelitis were treated between 1983 and 1995. In all cases an external fixator was used for bone fixation. Bone defects were managed with the Ilizarov intercalary bone transport. Two types of traction were used: the Ilizarov type and a ‘new’ Ljubljana type. The results of treatment were compared between the two types of traction. In all cases delayed bony union was observed. Osteomyelitis never reactivated. All patients were satisfied with treatment. They were all independent except for one amputee. The Ljubljana traction method was found to have the following advantages: no discrepancy in leg length, no orthopaedic support was needed, the aesthetic outcome was better, the traction time was reduced and there was less soft tissue damage during bone traction.
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