Treatment of open fractures with a computer-assisted external fixator system without the use of fluoroscopy

Creative Commons License

KARA A., Celik H., ŞEKER A., Karakoyun O., Armagan R., Kuyucu E., ...More

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, vol.11, no.1, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s13018-016-0379-9
  • Journal Name: Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Open fracture treatment, Circular external fixators, Fluoroscopy, Computer-assisted circular external fixators
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Developed for the treatment of deformity correction, computer-assisted circular external fixators in recent years have also been used for fracture fixation. In this study, we aimed to present the efficacy of computer-assisted circular external fixator use in open long bone fractures with our new technique. Methods: Between February 2013 and June 2014, 14 patients (mean age 24.5 (range 20-32)) with open tibial or femoral open fractures were treated with the computer-assisted fixation system (Spider Frame-Tasarim Medikal, Istanbul, Turkey). In all patients, appropriate positions of the rings and Schanz screws were determined by measurements on preoperative radiographs. The length of the Schanz screws were determined by depth measure marks on drill bits. Obvious deformities were corrected intraoperatively by manipulations, but residual deformities were corrected by a software program (Spiderfix, Tasarim Medikal, Istanbul, Turkey). We did not use fluoroscopy during the procedures. Results: Ten patients had tibia diaphyseal and four patients had femoral diaphyseal fractures. Mean surgical time was 24.2 (range 18-28) min. Average follow-up time was 10.2 (range 9-14) months. Mean time for deformity correction was 3.1 (2-5) days. Complete union was observed in all patients with a mean of 4.9 (range 3-9) months. There were two grade 2 pin site infections treated with oral antibiotherapy and pin site care. We did not detect any Schanz screw breakage, loosening, deep infection, nonunion, or malunion. Conclusions: Computer-assisted external fixation systems can be used in the treatment of open fractures, and they provide the chance for acute or gradual correction. Preoperative planning and assistant devices with depth measures may decrease the procedure time and the need for fluoroscopy use.