Radiographic Outcomes of Ring External Fixation for Malunion and Nonunion


Ring external fixators such as the Ilizarov external fixator (IEF) and Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF) have revolutionized management of limb deformity. This study examines radiographic outcomes for treatment of malunions and nonunions with secondary emphasis on comparing radiographic union rates of TSF and IEF. A retrospective chart and radiograph review was performed. Fifty-four patients were included. Most injuries were in the tibia (96%). Fifty patients (93%) achieved radiographic union, two patients required further fixation, and two patients elected to undergo amputation. The preoperative coronal deformity improved from a mean of 12° (range, 0° –41°ı to within 3° anatomic. Sagittal deformity improved from a mean of 11° (range, 0° –49°ı to within 5° anatomic with some patients intentionally left in recurvatum to accommodate plantarflexion contractures. Limb length discrepancies were corrected to within 1 cm. Twenty-five patients experienced complications (mostly superficial pin tract infections). No statistically significant differences in the radiographic outcomes of TSF compared to IEF were identified. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 22(4):316–320, 2013)

SKU: JSOA-2013-22-4-W12 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

Robert K. Lark, MD, MS; John S. Lewis, Jr., MD; Tyler Steven Watters, MD; and Robert D. Fitch, MD