Treatment of Close-Range, Low-Velocity Gunshot Fractures of Tibia and Femur Diaphysis With Consecutive Compression-Distraction Technique: A Report of 11 Cases


Lower extremity injuries secondary to close-range, low-velocity gunshot wounds are frequently seen in both civilian and military populations. A close-range, low-velocity injury produces high energy and often results in comminuted and complicated fractures with significant morbidity. In this study, four femoral, four tibial, and three combined tibia and fibular comminuted diaphyseal fractures secondary to closerange, low-velocity gunshot wounds in 11 military personnel were treated with debridement followed by compression-distraction lengthening using a circular external fixator frame. Fracture union was obtained in allwithout significant major complications. Fracture consolidation occurred at a mean of 3.5months. At follow-up of 46.8 months, there were no delayed unions, nonunions, or malunions. Minor complications included four pin-tract infections and knee flexion limitation in two femur fractures. Osteomyelitis and deep soft tissue infection were not observed. This technique provided an alternative to casting, open reduction internal fixation, or intermedullary fixation with an acceptable complication rate. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 13(2):112–118, 2004)

A. Sabri Ates¸ alp, MD, Mahmut Komurcu , MD, Bahtiyar Demiralp, MD, Dogan Bek, MD,
Erbil Oguz, MD,  Ibrahim Yanmis¸ , MD