Case 16: Acute Shortening and Then Lengthening

Reference work entry


Acute shortening and then lengthening of a long bone is a procedure that can be used during cases of bone defects and pseudarthroses. It consists of closing the (bony) defect by compressing the bone fragments followed by callus distraction. This procedure is shown in a patient who sustained an open tibial fracture, which resulted in a nonunion and limb shortening.

Acute shortening and then lengthening has several advantages: less need for local and free flaps, reduced donor-site morbidity, decreased surgical time, and fewer complications.


Compartment Syndrome Intramedullary Nail Acetabular Fracture Distraction Osteogenesis Docking Site 
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References and Suggested Reading

  1. El-Rosasy MA (2007) Acute shortening and re-lengthening in the management of bone and soft-tissue loss in complicated fractures of the tibia. J Bone Joint Surg Br 89(1):80–88CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Lerner A et al (2004) Acute shortening: modular treatment modality for severe combined bone and soft tissue loss of the extremities. J Trauma 57(3):603–608CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Power RA, Greengross P (1991) Acute lower leg compartment syndrome. Br J Sports Med 25(4):218–220PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Sala F, Talamonti T, Agus MA (2011) Tetrafocal leg reconstruction using combined Ilizarov/TSF technique. Musculoskelet Surg 95(2):151–155CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Saleh M, Yang L, Sims M (1999) Limb reconstruction after high energy trauma. Br Med Bull 55(4):870–884CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for TraumatologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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