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Malunited and malrotated Salter-Harris type I fracture of distal femur managed with circular ring external Ilizarov fixator


A 9-year-old girl presented with malunited Salter-Harris type I fracture of distal femur treated by bone-setter (unreliable-practitioner). Assessment revealed 3 cm limb-length-discrepancy and affected leg was unable to bear weight, knee was stiff with no active-range of motion; radiographs showed displaced sagittally malunited femoral condyle with 163° posterior distal femoral angle (PDFA). Correction planned with circular-ring-external Ilizarov fixator using distraction-osteogenesis through supracondylar osteotomy and gradual anterior opening. Partial weight bearing allowed from first postoperative day on walker. Eight weeks follow-up showed restored anatomical position of femoral condyle and PDFA. During anterior-distraction and angulation correction, tibia subluxated posteriorly, for that assembly extended to tibia which gradually translated tibia anteriorly and reduced knee. Twenty weeks after removal of assembly patient was advised knee-ankle-foot-orthosis. At 40 weeks of frame removal, patient was walking without support and pain. Managing such rare injuries with distraction-osteogenesis technique allows gradual correction and monitoring, till desirable degree of correction is achieved.

  • orthopaedics
  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery

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