Limb lengthening in Africa: tibial lengthening indicated for limb length discrepancy and postosteomyelitis pseudarthrosis
Farikou Ibrahima,1,2 Pius Fokam,2 Félicien Faustin Mouafo Tambo1
1Department of Surgery and Specialties, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, 2Department of Surgery, Douala General Hospital, Douala, Cameroon
Background: We present a case of lengthening of a tibia to treat postosteomyelitis pseudarthrosis and limb length discrepancy by the Ilizarov device.
Objective: The objective was to treat the pseudarthrosis and correct the consequent limb length discrepancy of 50 mm.
Materials and methods: The patient was a 5-year-old boy. Osteotomy of the tibia, excision of fibrosis, and decortications were carried out. After a latency period of 5 days, the lengthening started at a rate of 1 mm per day.
Results: The pseudarthrosis healed and the gained correction was 21.73%. The index consolidation was 49 days/cm. Minor complications were reported.
Discussion: Osteomyelitis of long bones is a common poverty-related disease in Africa. The disease usually is diagnosed at an advanced stage with complications. In these conditions, treatment is much more difficult. Most surgical procedures treating this condition use the Ilizarov device. The most common reported surgical complications are refractures and recurrence of infection.
Conclusion: This technique should be popularized in countries with limited resources because it would be an attractive alternative to the amputations that are sometimes performed.
Keywords: Limb length discrepancy (LLD), bone gap, Ilizarov device
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