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Fractures of the femur.

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  • 1Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis.


The most common indications for the use of ESF in femoral fractures are closed transverse, short oblique, and minimally comminuted fractures in the central one third of the bone. External skeletal fixation is usually used in combination with IM pins and wiring techniques. During the process of open reduction and internal fixation, the surgeon should strive for accurate anatomic alignment and stability at the fracture site. The fixator is applied after the internal fixation is in place and the surgical wound is closed. The number of fixation pins placed in each fracture fragment depends on the type of fracture and the stability gained by internal fixation. Partially threaded fixation pins are recommended. They are inserted through skin stab incisions with low-speed power equipment. Recent modifications of the Type Ia fixator may increase fixator rigidity. Important postoperative concerns include exercise restriction, pin tract care, and protection of the fixator from the environment. Complications associated with ESF can be minimized by realizing its indications and limitations.

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