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Taylor spatial frame-software-controlled fixator for deformity correction-the early Indian experience

Author(s): Chaudhary Milind

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 41;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 169;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Deformity correction | Ilizarov | limb lengthening | taylor spatial frame fixator

Background: Complex deformity correction and fracture treatment with the Ilizarov method needs extensive preoperative analysis and laborious postoperative fixator alterations, which are error-prone. We report our initial experience in treating the first 22 patients having fractures and complex deformities and shortening with software-controlled Taylor spatial frame (TSF) external fixator, for its ease of use and accuracy in achieving fracture reduction and complex deformity correction. Settings and Design: The struts of the TSF fixator have multiplane hinges at both ends and the six struts allow correction in all six axes. Hence the same struts act to correct either angulation or translation or rotation. With a single construct assembled during surgery all the desired axis corrections can be performed without a change of the montage as is needed with the Ilizarov fixator. Materials and Methods: Twenty-seven limb segments were operated with the TSF fixator. There were 23 tibiae, two femora, one knee joint and one ankle joint. Seven patients had comminuted fractures. Ten patients who had 13 deformed segments achieved full correction. Eight patients had lengthening in 10 tibiae. (Five of these also had simultaneous correction of deformities). One patient each had correction of knee and ankle deformities. Accurate reduction of fractures and correction of deformities and length could be achieved in all of our patients with minimum postoperative fixator alterations as compared to the Ilizarov system. The X-ray visualization of the osteotomy or lengthening site due to the six crossing struts and added bulk of the fixator rings which made positioning in bed and walking slightly more difficult as compared to the Ilizarov fixator. Conclusions: The TSF external fixator allows accurate fracture reduction and deformity correction without tedious analysis and postoperative frame alterations. The high cost of the fixator is a deterrent. The need for an internet connection and special X-rays to operate the fixator add to its complexity.
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