Limb reconstruction refers to the biological correction of musculoskeletal deformity without recourse to prosthetic devices or amputation. The technique provides a lifelong biological solution to a wide range of problems but in particular those for which conventional treatment is ether too risky or not appropriate.
Bone can be lengthened, transported and corrected of deformity with specialised external fixators. Such devices consist of an external frame that either encircles or lies adjacent to the limb and it attached to the skeleton by fine tensioned wires or bone screws. By this means the bony parts may be controlled and if divided, gradually elongated, transported, rotated or translated.
Applying the same principles to joints allows significant deformity in the form of contracture, subluxation and dislocation to be addressed either individually or as part of a simultaneous bony procedure.
Success of operative treatment depends on a coordinated process that includes preoperative assessment, careful planning, preparation for surgery and a complete postoperative program. Limb reconstruction is stressful for both patient and staﬀ, complex in its application and requires a greater degree of patient supervision than conventional orthopaedic surgery.
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- Limb lengthening and deformity correction
- Arthrodesis (fusion) of septic or neuropathic joints
- Restoration of bony continuity after resection (tumour, infection) or loss (trauma)
- Correction of joint deformity
- Management of non unions of bone after fracture or infection
- Acute treatment of fractures that involve joint surfaces
- Stabilisation of open fractures and treatment of soft tissue defects
- Limb lengthening for severe short stature