A review of problems, obstacles and sequelae encountered during femoral lengthening : Uniplanar versus circular external fixator

Eralp L., Kocaoglu M., Bilen F. E., Balci H. İ., Toker B., Ahmad K.

ACTA ORTHOPAEDICA BELGICA, vol.76, no.5, pp.628-635, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.628-635
  • Keywords: femoral lengthening, unilateral fixator, circular fixator, CONGENITAL SHORT FEMUR, COMPLICATIONS, NAIL
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


There is currently a consensus regarding the superiority of circular type external fixators over uniplanar fixators for lengthening of the tibia, but femoral lengthening is still subject to the surgeon's preference. This study compares the occurrence rates of significant problems, obstacles and sequelae between these two techniques. Fifty patients (29 male, 21 female), with a mean age of 20 years were assigned to a circular type fixator group (54 lengthening segments), whereas 60 patients (29 male, 31 female), with a mean age of 20 years were assigned to a uniplanar fixator group (67 lengthening segments). The incidence of knee stiffness was significantly higher in the circular external fixator group (031 per segment) compared to the uniplanar external fixator group (0.13 per segment) (p < 0.05). The incidence of pain during lengthening was higher in the circular external fixator group, and patient satisfaction was higher in the uniplanar external fixator group. We recommend the uniplanar external fixator as a preferable device for femoral lengthening.