Fractures of the femoral shaft are often treated by an established method of internal fixation, such as a medullary nail or a plate and screws, to obviate the many disadvantages of traction and prolonged rest in bed. Fractures of the femoral shaft which are severely comminuted and open are usually unsuitable for internal fixation. Between July 1981 and March 1983 we treated seven patients with severely comminuted fractures of the femoral shaft (of which three were open), using the ASIF tubular external fixator system or the Wagner apparatus. The technique of application of the external fixator is important and is described. When correctly applied, the knee's movement was not restricted and few complications were experienced. All the fractures united within 8 months in a good position without shortening, and none required an additional operation. The use of the external fixator in these patients reduced their time in the hospital and facilitated their postoperative rehabilitation by allowing uncomplicated healing of a complicated fracture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine