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Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 3, Issue 5 | Pages 359 - 366
1 May 2022
Sadekar V Watts AT Moulder E Souroullas P Hadland Y Barron E Muir R Sharma HK


The timing of when to remove a circular frame is crucial; early removal results in refracture or deformity, while late removal increases the patient morbidity and delay in return to work. This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of a staged reloading protocol. We report the incidence of mechanical failure following both single-stage and two stage reloading protocols and analyze the associated risk factors.


We identified consecutive patients from our departmental database. Both trauma and elective cases were included, of all ages, frame types, and pathologies who underwent circular frame treatment. Our protocol is either a single-stage or two-stage process implemented by defunctioning the frame, in order to progressively increase the weightbearing load through the bone, and promote full loading prior to frame removal. Before progression, through the process we monitor patients for any increase in pain and assess radiographs for deformity or refracture.