Submuscular plating after distraction osteogenesis in children

Chang Wug Oh, Gautam M. Shetty, Hae Ryong Song, Hee Soo Kyung, Jong Keon Oh, Woo Kie Min, Byung Woo Lee, Byung Chul Park

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25 Scopus citations


Although distraction osteogenesis has solved limb length discrepancies, many complications are inevitable from long duration of external fixation. Use of intramedullary nails for early removal of fixators has its own challenges especially in pediatric age group. To facilitate early removal of external fixators in children, we tried a novel method of submuscular plating over the distraction callus, which is described, and the results and complications of this technique are presented. In eight children (four girls and four boys), of limb lengthening (four cases) and bone transport (four cases) done in three femurs and five tibiae with external fixators (five Ilizarov ring fixators and three monofixators), submuscular plating was done over the distraction callus. The causes of limb length discrepancy included traumatic and septic growth arrest, congenital pseudoarthrosis of tibia, fibular hemimelia, tumor salvage, and Perthes' disease. The purpose of plating was to remove the external fixator earlier after achieving the target length. Mean age of plating procedure was 11.62 years, and mean amount of distraction was 5.47 cm. In all patients, the distraction callus healed on maintaining its length or correcting into the original alignment. The mean external fixation index was 26.93 days/cm and healing index was 52.01 days/cm. One complication of superficial pin-track infection occurred, which resolved completely with conservative treatment. None of the patients developed deep infection or implant failures. The mean follow-up after plating was 28 months (range, 18-62 months). Submuscular plating over the distraction callus may be a successful method that permits early removal of fixator with fewer complications. This method can be a useful alternative in children or when nailing is difficult. J Pediatr Orthop B 17:265-269

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-269
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics Part B
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Distraction osteogenesis
  • External fixator
  • Limb lengthening
  • Submuscular plating


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