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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2008 Jul;90(7):924-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.90B7.20674.

Safety of external fixation during postoperative chemotherapy.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken, 920-8641, Japan.


We studied the safety of external fixation during post-operative chemotherapy in 28 patients who had undergone distraction osteogenesis (17, group A) or vascularised fibular grafting (11, group B) after resection of a tumour. Four cycles of multi-agent post-operative chemotherapy were administered over a mean period of 14 weeks (6 to 27). The mean duration of external fixation for all patients was 350 days (91 to 828). In total 204 wires and 240 half pins were used. During the period of post-operative chemotherapy, 14 patients (11 in group A, 3 in group B) developed wire- and pin-track infection. A total of ten wires (4.9%) and 11 half pins (4.6%) became infected. Seven of the ten infected wires were in periarticular locations. External fixation during post-operative chemotherapy was used safely and successfully for fixation of a vascularised fibular graft and distraction osteogenesis in 27 of 28 patients. Post-operative chemotherapy for malignant bone tumours did not adversely affect the ability to achieve union or cause hypertrophy of the vascularised fibular graft and had a minimal effect on distraction osteogenesis. Only one patient developed osteomyelitis which required further surgery.

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