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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-141

Monolateral frame external fixators in the definitive management of open limb fractures in North-western Nigeria

1 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Yau Zakari Lawal
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.190847

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Background: The use of external fixators became popular in the last ten years in our environment with the availability and expertise to apply them being popularised by the AO foundation. They have virtually supplanted the application of casts which had high levels of complications and unpredictable outcomes in patients with open fractures. This manuscript describes its use in trauma in our environment. Aims: The aim of this study is to demonstrate that monolateral frame external fixators are a means of definitively treating open limb fractures. Materials and Methods: For a period of nine years (2006-2014), we prospectively studied the use of monoframe external fixation in one hundred and six limbs in three hospitals in the northwest of Nigeria. Gustillo II and III A, B and C patients were included in the study. External fixators from different manufacturers were used. The adherence to the principles of application, duration of application, pin track infection, union and non-union rates were observed for both groups. Results: One hundred and six limbs in were studied. Ninety four males and eleven females in the study group with five of the males being children of less than twelve years. Ninety seven cases had open tibial fractures (one lady had bilateral open tibial fractures) and four cases involved the femur. Union rate of 60% was observed. Pin tack infection rate of 80%, average duration of stay of the patient was three month; fracture union rate of 60% and reoperation rate of 2%were observed. Conclusion: Monolateral external fixators can be used successfully in the management of open diaphyseal fractures of long bones with reasonably high success rates and few complications.

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