Management of infected non-union of lower limb long bone fractures using ilizarov technique: a study of outcomes


  • Hrishikesh Pande Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Chander Mohan Singh Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Anjan Prabhakara Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Vivek Mathew Philip Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Mohd Shezan Iqbal Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Yogesh Sharma Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India



Ilizarov, Infected nonunion, Tibia, Femur


Background: Nonunion of long bone fractures is a common condition treated by an orthopaedic surgeon. Many nonunions can be treated effectively by internal fixation with or without bone grafting but, an infected nonunion can prove to be a tough challenge. The Ilizarov method is effective in managing infected nonunion of long bones. This study aims to assess the outcome of management of infected nonunions of long bones of lower limb with Ilizarov Ring fixator using bone and functional results as per Association for the Study and Application of Methods of Ilizarov (ASAMI) Scoring System.

Methods: We retrospectively analysed 18 patients (16 Male: 2 Female; Mean age 43.2 years) managed with Ilizarov technique for an infected tibial or femoral nonunion between 01 January 2013 and 31 December 2014. They were followed up for an average of 25.4 months after removal of fixator. They were assessed for functional and Bone (radiological) outcomes using the Association for the Study and Application of Methods of Ilizarov (ASAMI) criteria.

Results: 17 limbs were salvaged and union could be achieved. One limb required amputation due to severe persistent intractable infection. None required any additional skeletal stabilisation after removal of fixator frame except casting in a few patients for a period of 6 weeks. Mean time to union was 211.83 days (range 136 - 320days/median 184) or 7.01 months. As per the ASAMI score, Bone results were excellent in 10, good in 5, fair in 2 and poor in 1. Functionally 7 were graded as excellent, 6 as good, 3 as fair and 1 as poor and 1 patient underwent amputation.

Conclusions: The Ilizarov’s method remains one of the most versatile and successful means of achieving bone healing in infected nonunions of long bones of lower limbs with additional benefits of correcting bone defects, deformities and limb length inequalities. 

Author Biography

Anjan Prabhakara, Department of Orthopaedics, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Department of Orthopaedics,

Assistant Professor


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Original Research Articles