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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X

SA orthop. j. vol.8 n.4 Centurion Jan. 2009




Simultaneous ipsilateral femur and tibia lengthening after an iatrogenic nerve injury: Shortening external fixator time



FF Birkholtz

MBChB(Pret), MMed(Orth)(Pret), FCOrth(SA; Netcare Unitas, Zuid Afrikaans and Steve Biko Academic Hospitals, Pretoria, South Africa





Limb lengthening using distraction osteogenesis is an established technique; however it is often limited by prolonged external fixation times, with their associated difficulties and complications. A case is presented where a leg lengthening was performed with a relatively short external fixation time. This was made possible by the equal distribution of the patient's leg length discrepancy between the femur and tibia, secondary to an iatrogenic nerve injury while the patient was still growing. The technique of simultaneous ipsilateral femoral and tibial lengthening was shown to be an effective method of shortening external fixator time in this case and opens the door for further application of this technique in other clinical scenarios.



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Dr FF Birkholtz
PO Box 11328
South Africa
Tel:+27(0)12 644-2641; Fax:+27(0)12 644-2642



No benefits of any form have been received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. Written informed consent was obtained from the patient to use his information and X-rays for the purposes of this article.

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