Computer-Assisted Fixators for Deformity Surgery
Extremity discrepancies, short stature, pseudoarthrosis, infections such as chronic osteomyelitis, acute trauma with bone loss, and deformities either in the bones or joints are routine problems dealt with in daily practice. In the majority of these problems, an Ilizarov external fixator (EF) is used, often as the first choice or for revision of previously unsuccessful surgery (as reported by Ilizarov (Clin Orthop Relat Res 280: 7–10, 1992)). The Ilizarov EF is highly modular, which increases the chance of success, but also entails a long learning curve. Especially in multiplanar deformities, because of the hinge positioning difficulties, lengthening and translations are made with different apparatus thus the system requires frequent revision (as reported by Mutlu (J Eng Math 54:119, 2006)). This situation creates anxiety in the patient and is time-consuming for the physician. Therefore, the use of circular Ilizarov external fixator is gradually being replaced by computer-assisted fixators.
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