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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 102-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1248 - 1255
1 Sep 2020
Laufer A Frommer A Gosheger G Roedl R Broeking JN Toporowski G Rachbauer AM Vogt B


The treatment of tibial aplasia is controversial. Amputation represents the gold standard with good functional results, but is frequently refused by the families. In these patients, treatment with reconstructive limb salvage can be considered. Due to the complexity of the deformity, this remains challenging and should be staged. The present study evaluated the role of femoro-pedal distraction using a circular external fixator in reconstructive treatment of tibial aplasia. The purpose of femoro-pedal distraction is to realign the limb and achieve soft tissue lengthening to allow subsequent reconstructive surgery.


This was a retrospective study involving ten patients (12 limbs) with tibial aplasia, who underwent staged reconstruction. During the first operation a circular hexapod external fixator was applied and femoro-pedal distraction was undertaken over several months. Subsequent surgery included reconstruction of the knee joint and alignment of the foot.