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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-56

Comparison of fixator-assisted plating versus fixator-assisted nailing for distal femoral osteotomy

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sherif Galal
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, P.O. 11559, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jllr.jllr_25_16

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Introduction: Fixator-assisted plating (FAP) and fixator-assisted nailing (FAN) have gained popularity recently in correcting deformities due to their advantage of combining the accuracy of deformity correction offered by external fixator (that is removed at the end of surgery) with the convenience of internal fixation for osteotomy fixation. The advantage of one method over the other is not yet clear and there are limited reviews in literature in this regard. We asked whether one technique has an advantage over the other as regards the ability to correct the deformity, blood loss, knee range, time to union, and complication rate. Methods: We identified 18 patients who underwent distal femoral osteotomies, 6 patients underwent FAP and 12 patients underwent FAN. We compared the accuracy of correction, duration of surgery, preoperative and postoperative knee range, and complications. Minimum follow-up was 13.4 months (6–18 months). Plates were used in skeletally immature patients or in skeletally mature patients with thin thighs, while nails were used in skeletally mature patients with big thighs. Results: We achieved the desired correction in all the 18 patients. Union was quicker with plates, but this could be attributed to the younger age of patients in that group. There was no statistically significant difference between both techniques that may point out that one method is superior to the other as regarding deformity correction (based on percentage improvement in mechanical axis deviation as compared preoperatively and at final follow-up). Preoperative and postoperative knee ranges were similar for both techniques and there was only one case of recurrence that had bone softening disease. Conclusion: Both techniques can be used to achieve correction with no statistically significant differences, and the choice between both techniques can be left to surgeons' or patients' discretion. Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.

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