Ilizarov treatment of tibial nonunions results in 16 cases.

Published online: Jun 27 2000

M B Laursen, P Lass, and K S Christensen.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Aalborg Hospital, Denmark.


Treatment with the Ilizarov technique was performed in 16 patients with complex tibial nonunions. Two years post treatment the functional stage and patient satisfaction were recorded. There were 4 hypertrophic, 3 atrophic and 9 infected nonunions. Eleven patients had segmental bone loss. Fifteen nonunions united, and limb length discrepancy was reduced within 1.5 cm of the contralateral leg. Average time in the frame was 182 days. Fifteen of the 16 patients were satisfied with the treatment. One patient demanded an amputation after 3 months of treatment, despite good signs of healing. There were no refractures or recurrent infections. In conclusion the Ilizarov technique for complex nonunions has a high rate of success in achieving union and eradicating infection, bone loss and malalignment. The treatment is demanding both to the surgeon and to the patient, but we strongly recommend the Ilizarov treatment for tibial nonunion, especially in cases with chronic infection and severe bone loss.