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Lower Limb

Intramedullary limb lengthening with the Intramedullary Skeletal Kinetic Distractor in the lower limb

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We report the results of intramedullary leg lengthening conducted between 2002 and 2009 using the Intramedullary Skeletal Kinetic Distractor in 69 unilateral lengthenings involving 58 femora and 11 tibiae. We identified difficulties that occurred during the treatment and assessed whether they were specifically due to the implant or independent of it. Paley’s classification for evaluating problems, obstacles and complications with external fixators was adopted, and implant-specific difficulties were continuously noted. There were seven failures requiring premature removal of the device, in four due to nail breakage and three for other reasons, and five unsuccessful outcomes after completion of the lengthening. In all, 116 difficulties were noted in 45 patients, with only 24 having problem-free courses. In addition to the difficulties arising from the use of external fixators, there were almost the same number again of implant-specific difficulties.

Nevertheless, successful femoral lengthening was achieved in 52 of the 58 patients (90%). However, successful tibial lengthening was only achieved in five of 11 patients (45%).

Correspondence should be sent to Dr F. M. Schiedel; e-mail: schiedf@uni-muenster.de

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