5 years ago

Treatment of femoral shaft fractures with monoaxial external fixation in polytrauma patients [version 1; referees: 2 approved]

Alessandro Massé, Alessandro Ghirri, Eraclite Petruccelli, Vito Pavone, Domenico Aloj, Gianluca Testa
Background: Femoral shaft fractures, typical in younger people, are often associated with polytrauma followed by traumatic shock. In these situations, despite intramedullary nailing being the treatment of choice, external fixation could be used as the definitive treatment. The aim of this study is to report evidence regarding definitive treatment of femoral shaft fractures with monoaxial external fixation. Methods: Between January 2006 and December 2015, 83 patients with 87 fractures were treated at the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology CTO of Turin, with a monoaxial external fixation device. Mean age at surgery, type of fracture, mean follow-up, time and modalities of treatment, non-weight bearing period, average healing, external fixation removal time, and complications were reported. Results: The average patient age was 31.43±15.19 years. In 37 cases (42.53%) the right femur was involved. 73 (83.91%) fractures were closed, and 14 (16.09%) were open. The average follow-up time was 61.07±21.86 weeks.  In 68 (78.16%) fractures the fixation was carried out in the first 24 hours, using a monoaxial external fixator. In the remaining 19 cases, the average delay was 6.80±4.54 days. Mean non-weight bearing time was 25.82±27.66 days (ranging from 0 to 120). The 87 fractures united at an average of 23.60±11.37 weeks (ranging from 13 to 102). The external fixator was removed after an average of 33.99±14.33 weeks (ranging from 20 to 120). Reported complications included 9.19% of delayed union, 1.15% of septic non-union, 5.75% of malunion, and 8.05% cases of loss of reduction. Conclusions: External fixation of femoral shaft fractures in polytrauma is an ideal method for definitive fracture stabilization, with minimal additional operative trauma and an acceptable complication rate.

Publisher URL: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-1333/v1

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.11893.1

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