Introduction and Basic Indications for the Use of External Skeletal Fixation
The history of external skeletal fixation begins in the middle of the 19th century with Malgaigne’s  description of a simple unilateral frame. Since then considerable development has taken place. Lambotte  pushed the development of the external fixator further and was the first to apply a simple unilateral frame in a systematic fashion. Codevilla  pioneered in describing the principles of the double-frame configuration, which was further developed by Stader  and Hoffmann . Anderson  described the half-pin “fracture units” with prestressing and recurrent compression of the fracture site. Vidal and his co-workers  were the first to subject the various assemblies of the external fixator frames to mechanical testing. Their results were instrumental in gaining wider acceptance for this method. The external fixator was used in clinical practice to treat fractures and pseudarthroses, as well as in arthrodesis of the knee and ankle . The advantages of this type of fixation — namely, fixation of the involved portion of the skeleton with sparing of the endangered soft and boue tissues — were recognized by the pioneers of external skeletal fixation.
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