Role of the Ilizarov ring fixator in management of severely comminuted supracondylar and intercondylar fractures of the distal femur

Yadkikar S.V., Yadkikar V.S., Das S.

Abstract


Introduction
Supracondylar and intercondylar fractures of the distal femur are often attributed to high energy trauma. Treatment of such severely comminuted fractures is challenging. Poor overlying soft tissue, bone loss in the presence of severe comminution and intercondylar extension makes implant selection difficult. Unilateral knee spanning external fixators and hybrid fixators can lead to knee joint stiffness and the issue of bone loss is difficult to deal with them. Ilizarov ring fixator is reserved for severely comminuted fractures and injuries with poor overlying soft tissue. It can effectively manage the bone loss and facilitates limb length restoration, promotes early weight bearing and mobilization. Aim To study the role of the Ilizarov ring fixator in management of severely comminuted supracondylar and intercondylar fractures of the distal femur.
Material and Method
A total of 13 (all male patients) consecutive patients with severely comminuted supracondylar and intercondylar fractures of the distal femur were treated from December 2013 to March 2016. There was one case with A3 type, one with C1, five cases with C2 and six cases with C3 type as per AO/ASIF Classification. Gustilo-Anderson classification was used for compound fractures. Four cases of C3 type required limited open reduction.
Results
All patients completed one-year follow-up. Average fracture union time was 20 weeks. Pin tract infection (n = 7) was a frequent complication. Patients with C3 Type of fracture had more restriction in knee flexion (n= 5). No case had limb length discrepancy more than 2.5 cm. No case of nonunion or premature fixator removal due to infection was noted in the series.
Conclusion
Ilizarov ring fixator can be considered as one of the reliable treatment options for severely comminuted distal femoral fractures with intra-articular extension.

Keywords


Ilizarov ring fixator, ligamentotaxis compression, distraction, femur, supracondylar fracture

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