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Devices vary in the type of frame and method of fixation used. Frames for the upper limb are lighter than those for the lower limb. Most allow for adjustment of length. Many allow for additional pins and for variation in the their angle of entry. Those used to bridge joints may permit "dynamisation" ie. movement without loss of fracture position - by means of a ball joint which can optionally be unlocked during treatment. Screws and wires are also used to transfix the frame to the bone.

Careful consideration must be given to pin placement and pre-operatively, the neurovascular status of the limb must be recorded. Percutaneous pin insertion is normally performed in the femur and tibia since access points certain to avoid major vessels and nerves are well known. Open pin placement is preferred in the upper limb however, since comparable anatomical safety is lacking.

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