Role of the bio-absorbable poly-l-lactic (PLLA) implants in the treatment of the developing skeleton’s lower limb’s fractures, The

role of the bio-absorbable poly-l-lactic (PLLA) implants in the treatment of the developing skeleton’s lower limb’s fractures, The

Beslikas, T A

The aim of this paper is to present our experience from the surgical treatment of lower limb fractures in the developing skeleton with the use of bio-absorbable PLLA implants as a means of internal fixation.

From 1997 until 2002, twenty-three patients (15 boys and 8 girls, ages ranging from 7 to 15 years old, mean of 12 years) who had suffered from 30 lower limb fractures were operated on in our department, with the use of PLLA screws as a means of internal fixation that followed the standard open reduction procedure.

We surgically treated 20 tibial fractures (distal metaphysis:1, medial malleolar:6, distal epiphysis lesions:9, tibial spine:2, lateral tibial condyle:1, tibial shaft:1), 8 fibular fractures (distal metaphysis:2, distal epiphysis lesions:5, fibular shaft:1), one trans-trochanteric fracture and 1 patellar fracture.

All patients were operated on under constant radiographic control. A cast was applied, post-operatively, to all patients, for a period of 3-4 weeks. Gradual and assisted weight-bearing and ambulation, was commencing immediately after the cast removal.

All patient’s (with the exception of 1 case of delayed callus formation) post-operative period was completely normal. However, follow-up revealed the development of osteolytic lesions (bone absorption cysts) in 3 of our patients. All lesions were located in the border between epiphysis and metaphysis, at the exact position were the PLLA screws had been placed.

The use of PLLA implants in the treatment of fractures renders unnecessary a second operation for the removal of the osteosynthesis’ material. Nevertheless, we should be quite reluctant when deciding to use the PLLA screws in the treatment of these fractures in the developing skeleton, especially of the lower limbs, were the applied weight bearing forces are quite powerful.

T.A. Beslikas, K.A. Papavasiliou, S. Nenopoulos, J.M. Kirkos, G.A. Kapetanos, V.A. Papavasiliou

2nd Orthopaedic Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Copyright British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery 2003

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