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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 1 | Pages 141 - 142
1 Jan 2012
Bentley G Kenwright J


The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 5 | Pages 659 - 665
1 Jul 2000
Simpson AHRW Kenwright J

We reviewed 173 patients undergoing distraction osteogenesis to determine the incidence, location and timing of fractures occurring as a complication of the procedure.

There were 17 fractures in 180 lengthened segments giving an overall rate of fracture of 9.4%. Unexpectedly, the pattern and location of the fractures were very variable; six were within the regenerate itself, six at the junction between the regenerate and the original bone and five at distant sites in the limb. Of those occurring in the regenerate, five were noted to be associated with compression and partial collapse of the regenerate. In three patients collapse and deformity developed gradually in the distracted segment over the six months after removal of the frame.

The method of treatment of these fractures should be chosen to take into account multiple factors, which are additional and often different from those to be considered during management of acute traumatic injuries. Internal fixation appears to be most appropriate for displaced fractures, although in small children, or in those in whom there has been, or is, infection of the screw tracks, a new period of treatment using external fixation may be needed. Fixation by intramedullary nailing was associated with a risk of infection, even if screw tracks were assessed as healthy at the time of insertion of the nail. Internal fixation with the use of plates is safe for displaced, unstable fractures in children.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 6 | Pages 1041 - 1045
1 Nov 1999
Simpson AHRW Cole AS Kenwright J

Distraction osteogenesis is widely used for leg lengthening, but often requires a long period of external fixation which carries risks of pin-track sepsis, malalignment, stiffness of the joint and late fracture of the regenerate.

We present the results of 20 cases in which, in an attempt to reduce the rate of complications, a combination of external fixation and intramedullary nailing was used. The mean gain in length was 4.7 cm (2 to 8.6). The mean time of external fixation was 20 days per centimetre gain in length. All distracted segments healed spontaneously without refracture or malalignment. There were three cases of deep infection, two of which occurred in patients who had had previous open fractures of the bone which was being lengthened. All resolved with appropriate treatment.

This method allows early rehabilitation, with a rapid return of knee movement. There is a lower rate of complications than occurs when external fixation is used on its own. The time of external fixation is shorter than in other methods of leg lengthening. The high risk of infection calls for caution.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 78-B, Issue 6 | Pages 979 - 983
1 Nov 1996
Simpson AHRW Cunningham JL Kenwright J

Axial forces were measured during limb lengthening in a series of ten patients with varying pathologies in order to assess the mechanical characteristics of the distracted tissues and the levels of axial force to which soft tissues are subjected during leg lengthening.

The pattern of force was found to vary according to the underlying pathology. For post-traumatic shortening in adults both the peak and the resting forces rose steadily during lengthening reaching maximum forces of the order of 300 N. Patients with congenitally short limbs developed very high peak forces (in some cases over 1000 N) and also showed large amounts of force relaxation (typically 400 to 500 N).

When very high levels of force were recorded, there was a higher complication rate. In particular, there was a high instance of angular deformity. This occurred because the loads encountered resulted in failure of some of the external fixation frames.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 78-B, Issue 1 | Pages 169 - 169
1 Jan 1996
Kenwright J

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 77-B, Issue 4 | Pages 630 - 636
1 Jul 1995
Simpson A Williams P Kyberd P Goldspink G Kenwright J

We used an experimental rabbit model of leg lengthening to study the morphology and function of muscle after different distraction rates. Lengthening was in twice-daily increments from 0.4 to 4 mm per day. New contractile tissue formed during lengthening, but some damage to the muscle fibres was seen even at rates of less than 1 mm per day; abnormalities increased with larger rates of lengthening. There was proliferation of fibrous tissue between the muscle fibres at distraction rates of over 1 mm per day. Active muscle function showed adaptation when the rate was 1.0 mm per day or less, but muscle compliance was normal only after rates of 0.4 mm per day. Muscle responded more favourably at rates of distraction slower than those shown to lead to the most prolific bone formation. At present the rate of distraction in clinical practice is determined mainly by factors which enhance osteogenesis. Our study suggests that it may be advisable to use a slower rate of elongation in patients with poor muscle compliance associated with the underlying pathology; this will allow better accommodation by the contractile and connective tissues of the muscles.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 77-B, Issue 3 | Pages 412 - 416
1 May 1995
Richardson J Gardner T Hardy Evans M Kuiper J Kenwright J

We studied the effect of 'dynamisation' on tibial fractures in six patients treated by the Dynamic Axial Fixator. In the early stages, peak cyclic movement at two to four weeks averaged 0.75 mm (0.19 to 1.02) on the medial side of the bone and 0.86 mm (0.21 to 1.25) on the lateral side. The amount of movement correlated with the applied load and the fracture stiffness. After unlocking the fixator column at six weeks, progressive closure of the gap averaged 1.3 mm (0.1 to 3.5). Cyclic movement is produced by early weight-bearing with the fixator column locked. Progressive closure occurs after unlocking the column, and is often associated with a reduction in cyclic movements. The effects of dynamisation on movement at the fracture site should be defined separately, in terms of cyclic movement and of progressive closure.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 76-B, Issue 5 | Pages 837 - 843
1 Sep 1994
Apte S Kenwright J

We studied the cellular response to physeal distraction in the growth plates of skeletally immature rabbits. We used a new method of labelling and detection of proliferating cells with bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR) and an anti-BUdR antibody. The application of an external fixator but no distraction force produced no changes in the growth plates. After five days of distraction at a maximum force of 20 N, the growth plate became thicker, mainly because of an increase in the number of hypertrophic chondrocytes, but there was no evidence of increased cell proliferation. Recent fractures were seen at the junction of growth plate and metaphysis but the increase in bone length was insignificant. After ten days of distraction at the same maximum force, the chondrocyte columns had become disorganised and cell proliferation was significantly decreased. There was an increase in bone length due to distraction of the fracture gap. In this model, physeal distraction did not stimulate cell proliferation, but actually inhibited it. The apparent increase in growth-plate thickness produced by distraction is not due to increased cell production, but results from inhibition of endochondral ossification and the consequent accumulation of hypertrophic chondrocytes. Any growth after distraction depends on the ability of growth-plate chondrocytes to divide. The decrease in proliferative activity which we found after ten days of distraction suggests the need for caution in the use of such procedures in young children.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 76-B, Issue 3 | Pages 389 - 394
1 May 1994
Richardson J Cunningham J Goodship A O'Connor B Kenwright J

We measured fracture stiffness in 212 patients with tibial fractures treated by external fixation. In the first 117 patients (group 1) the decision to remove the fixator and allow independent weight-bearing was made on clinical grounds. In the other 95 patients (group 2) the frames were removed when the fracture stiffness had reached 15 Nm/degree. In group 1 there were eight refractures and in group 2 there was none (p = 0.02, Fisher's exact test). The time to independent weight-bearing was longer in group 1 (median 24 weeks) than in group 2 (21.7 weeks, p = 0.02). The greater precision of our objective measurement was associated with a reduction in refracture rate and in the time taken to achieve independent weight-bearing. We consider that a stiffness of 15 Nm/degree in the sagittal plane provides a useful definition of union of tibial fractures.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 75-B, Issue 4 | Pages 566 - 571
1 Jul 1993
Murray D Kambouroglou G Kenwright J

One-stage femoral lengthening is thought to have an unacceptably high complication rate and is not widely practised. We reviewed 17 patients after one-stage lengthening for femoral shortening with associated angular or rotational deformities. Minimal dissection of the bone ends was undertaken. The mean length gain was 4 cm (2 to 7), and the average time to union was 6 months (3 to 10). There were no neurovascular complications. Four patients had delayed or nonunion, but union was achieved after bone grafting. We conclude that with minimal dissection, and with iliac crest cancellous bone grafting, one-stage leg lengthening for correction of deformity and leg-length inequality of up to 7 cm, in selected patients, can be effected safely with a relatively short rehabilitation.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 75-B, Issue 2 | Pages 176 - 177
1 Mar 1993
Kenwright J

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 73-B, Issue 4 | Pages 654 - 659
1 Jul 1991
Kenwright J Richardson J Cunningham J White S Goodship A Adams M Magnussen P Newman J

Diaphyseal fractures of the tibia in 80 patients were treated by external skeletal fixation using a unilateral frame, either in a fixed mode or in a mode which allowed the application of a small amount of predominantly axial micromovement. Patients were allocated to each regime by random selection. Fracture healing was assessed clinically, radiologically and by measurement of the mechanical stiffness of the fracture. Both clinical and mechanical healing were enhanced in the group subjected to micromovement, compared to those treated with frames in a fixed mode possessing an overall stiffness similar to that of others in common clinical use. The differences in healing time were statistically significant and independently related to the treatment method. There was no difference in complication rates between treatment groups.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 73-B, Issue 4 | Pages 671 - 675
1 Jul 1991
Kenwright J Albinana J

We reviewed 46 leg-shortening operations (37 femoral and nine tibial), performed by different methods, to assess the incidence of complications and permanent disability. Shortening of as much as 7.5 cm in the femur and 5 cm in the tibia was achieved in men of normal height without any loss of function. Complications were seen with all surgical techniques despite the use of modern implants. Most problems arose from inadequate stabilisation of the osteotomy. The most reliable method of femoral shortening was open subtrochanteric osteotomy with preservation of the isthmus, and fixation with an intramedullary nail locked at its proximal end. In tibial shortening, bone excision should be at the level of the flare in the lower diaphysis in order to achieve reliable bone healing. Simple intramedullary nail fixation should be supplemented with a long-leg cast for six weeks or the nail should be locked at both ends to prevent postoperative distraction or rotation.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 72-B, Issue 3 | Pages 356 - 361
1 May 1990
White S Kenwright J

New methods of limb lengthening are being adopted in the hope of overcoming the poor osteogenic responses characteristic of distraction. Delay between the osteotomy and starting distraction is said to be important but there is little experimental evidence. We have compared immediate with delayed distraction in the rabbit tibia and shown that delay is an important factor in promoting osteogenesis. It seems that its effects are partly mediated by an improvement in the extra-osseous blood supply.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 69-B, Issue 3 | Pages 433 - 436
1 May 1987
Fergusson C Morrison J Kenwright J

We have reviewed the results of amputation through the ankle in the management of 37 children with congenital leg-length discrepancy, followed up for a mean of 7.6 years after operation. In general good function was achieved and 18 patients considered their activities to be unrestricted. The main factor affecting the functional result was the underlying condition for which operation had been performed. Although heel pad migration, scar rotation and os calcis remnants were seen, these could be accommodated by the prosthesis. Syme's amputation is tolerated well in the younger child and, in patients with a predicted leg-length discrepancy of over 15 cm associated with an abnormal foot, we recommend the operation as a primary procedure between the ages of 18 months and two years.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 67-B, Issue 4 | Pages 650 - 655
1 Aug 1985
Goodship A Kenwright J

Although it has been well established that fracture healing is influenced by the mechanical environment, the optimal parameters have not yet been established. In two groups of sheep an experimental tibial diaphysial fracture was created, and stabilised using external skeletal fixation. In one group rigid fixation was maintained throughout fracture healing; in the other group controlled axial micromovement, with a loading regime known to be osteogenic in intact bones, was applied for a short period daily. A significant improvement in healing was associated with the application of controlled micromovement. Data from these experiments provide the basis for improving the conditions for fracture healing and may assist in the prevention of delayed union.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 65-B, Issue 5 | Pages 584 - 587
1 Nov 1983
Gibson P Papaioannou T Kenwright J

We investigated the spines of 15 patients who had significant leg-length inequality as a result of femoral shaft fractures sustained after skeletal maturity but below the age of 21 years. The patients were examined at least 10 years after fracture. The spines were studied clinically and radiographically before and after correction of leg-length inequality with a shoe-raise. Lateral spinal flexion was measured from radiographs. The lumbar scoliosis associated with the leg-length inequality was compensatory: after equalisation of leg-length the overall curve and the axial rotation were corrected completely. There was also an equal range of lateral flexion to either side after correction. Minor malalignments of the whole spine remained despite correction of the compensatory scoliosis, and within the lumbar spine correction of the scoliosis had not occurred equally at all levels. No patients complained of significant discomfort and neither structural abnormalities nor degenerative changes were seen on the radiographs.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 52-B, Issue 1 | Pages 36 - 48
1 Feb 1970
Kenwright J Taylor RG

1. Fifty-eight major injuries in the region of the talus were reviewed regarding treatment, incidence of complications and long-term results.

2. The prognosis for simple fractures of the head, neck or body was good, as was that for dislocations of the midtarsal and peritalar joints.

3. The prognosis for fracture-dislocations of the neck and body was better than has been frequently reported. It was related to the degree of initial trauma. A good result occurs only if accurate reduction is effected and maintained. Fixation with a Kirschner wire is a useful method of maintaining the reduction after unstable fracture-dislocations.

4. Avascular necrosis occurred only in the more severe injuries and its incidence was related to the degree of initial displacement. The late results were better than have been previously described. The condition is best treated conservatively by protection from weight-bearing until revascularisation is well advanced.

5. A case with an unusual pattern of fracture of the neck of the talus is described following a plantar-flexion inversion injury.