The application of external fixator for complex tissue defect in the forearm

Run gong Yang, Wei jia Zhang, Xiao yong Zheng, Chuan long Meng, Shu xun Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To discuss the curative effect of the external fixator for complex tissue defect in the forearm. METHODS: From May, 2005 through December, 2008, the external fixators were used in 17 patients to treat the complex tissue defect in the forearm caused by trauma. There were 11 male and 6 female, with a mean age of 25.6. All patients were accompanied with the exposure of tendon, muscle or screw. The skin defect ranged from 7 cm x4 cm to 19 cm x9 cm. All patients underwent pedicle flap repair. The flap ranged from 10 cm x 6 cm to 20 cm x 15 cm. The proximal pedicle of the flap was sutured into a tubular. The position of the pedicle was fixed by the external fixator. The pin was at the ulnar and the iliac (n=5), and the radius and the iliac (n=12). The immobilization lasted 3 to 8 weeks, 5.1 weeks in average. RESULTS: All patients were followed up for 3 to 20 months, 11.3 in average. All pedicle flaps survived with no pressure ulcer, or no erosion in the axilla. No compartment syndrome or osteomyelitis occurred. Four to six week after surgery, the pedicle was cut. Infection occurred at the cutting end in 1 patient. The wound healed after addressing. The wound in the other 16 patients healed successfully. The fracture of the ulnar and the radius healed 8.5 or 15 weeks after surgery, 13.5 weeks in average. Eleven patients underwent second stage reshape and function restoration. The function of the hands and forearms recovered satisfactorily. Eleven patients returned to their work. Six patients can live with basic function for living. CONCLUSIONS: The external fixator used for complex tissue defect in the forearm can keep the position of the pedicle, replacing plaster fixation. It can reduce the incidence of flap and vessel spasm, and get good outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1016
Number of pages3
JournalZhonghua wai ke za zhi [Chinese journal of surgery]
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


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