Outcome of Infected Nonunion of Long Bones Treated by Single-Stage Bone Grafting and External Fixation at Northwest General Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan
Background: Infected nonunion of long bones after fractures is one of the most challenging complication to treat in clinical practice. It is commonly treated by a two-stage approach; controlling infection initially and then application of external fixator and bone graft. Treatment with Ilizarov had been the gold standard but is associated with few complications. The objective of the study was to evaluate the clinical, radiological and functional outcomes of infected non-union of long bones treated with single-stage bone grafting and external fixation.
Material and Methods: This retrospective study was carried out at Orthopedics Department of Northwest General Hospital, Peshawar Pakistan from 2014 to 2019. Medical records of 17 patients, aged 32 years and treated with Single-stage bone grafting and external fixation were reviewed. Nonunion included 7 humerii, 5 femurs, 3 tibias and 2 radius/ulna. Preoperative plain radiographs for any sequestrum or sclerosed bone margins and baseline investigations (like CBC, ESR, CRP and Vitamin-D status) were reviewed. All patients underwent radical debridement, reaming of intramedullary canals, external fixation and autogenous bone grafting. The outcomes evaluated were union of the bone (clinically and radiologically), resolution of infection, complication rate and number of re-intervention surgeries.
Results: Among 17 patients, 10 were males and 7 were females. After treatment, mean follow-up duration was 9.414.48 months (4–18 months). None of the patients were lost to follow-up, had recurrence of infection or required further surgery. The mean duration of bone union was 8.4 4.48 months (range 3 to 17 months) and all of the patients achieved infection free union with satisfactory functional outcome.
Conclusions: Single-stage bone grafting and external fixation is an effective technique in terms of resolution of infection and satisfactory bone union without any complications and can be used as an alternative to Ilizarov for treating cases of infected nonunion of long bones.
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