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Management of femoral shaft infected nonunion through customised Ilizarov external fixator assembly in a morbidly obese patient


A 19-year-old morbidly obese man presented with infected nonunion of femoral shaft fracture. Patient had history of 13 failed fixation surgeries, assessment revealed 3-centimetre limb-length discrepancy with 3-centimetre gap nonunion. Wound debridement, primary compression and external fixation using a customised Ilizarov external fixation assembly were planned. A four-ring customised assembly was applied. Partial weight bearing was allowed from first postoperative day on walker. Patient was kept on a monthly follow-up. After complete union at 10 months after surgery, frame was dynamised. After 6 months of dynamisation, frame was removed, at that time patient was full weight bearing. Knee was still stiff with a range of motion of 0°–20°, and there was 6 cm of limb length discrepancy, which was managed with a shoe raise. At 9 months after frame removal, patient is mobile with fully united bone. Ilizarov external fixator can be a good managing option in such difficult and complicated cases.

  • orthopaedics
  • disability

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