external fixation

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This is a technique of skeletal immobilisation in which percutaneous screws or wires attached to an external frame pass into the bone above and below the fracture. Originally developed to managed infected lower limb fractures, the technique is now widely used in both the upper and lower limb to manage open injuries, intra-articular fractures and limb equalization.

The indications however, are relatively specific and infrequent. Routine use is not justified where other more conventional techniques such as open reduction and internal fixation, are applicable.

Last reviewed 01/2018