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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Accepted: September 28, 1999
Received in revised form: September 15, 1999
Received: May 9, 1999
© 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.