header advert
You currently have no access to view or download this content. Please log in with your institutional or personal account if you should have access to through either of these
The Bone & Joint Journal Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from The Bone & Joint Journal

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Get Access locked padlock


Trifocal versus bifocal bone transport in treatment of long segmental tibial bone defects

a retrospective comparative study

Download PDF



Many authors have reported a shorter treatment time when using trifocal bone transport (TFT) rather than bifocal bone transport (BFT) in the management of long segmental tibial bone defects. However, the difference in the incidence of additional procedures, the true complications, and the final results have not been investigated.

Patients and Methods

A total of 86 consecutive patients with a long tibial bone defect (≥ 8 cm), who were treated between January 2008 and January 2015, were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 45 were treated by BFT and 41 by TFT. The median age of the 45 patients in the BFT group was 43 years (interquartile range (IQR) 23 to 54).


The size of the bone defect was significantly longer (p = 0.005), the number of previous operations was significantly higher (p < 0.001), the operating time was significantly longer (p < 0.001), and the bone transport distance was significantly increased (p = 0.017) in the TFT group. However, the external fixation time (p < 0.001), the healing index (p < 0.001), the number of additional procedures (p = 0.013), and the number of true complications (p < 0.001) were significantly reduced in this group. Both groups achieved highly satisfactory bone and functional results.


TFT can significantly reduce the treatment time, the number of additional surgical procedures, and true complications compared with BFT in the treatment of long segmental tibial bone defects.

Correspondence should be sent to W. Azzam; email:

For access options please click here