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Bone Deficit

What is Bone Deficit?

A gap in bone caused by severe trauma.

What causes it?

  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Fracture with nonunion

What are the symptoms of Bone Deficit?

  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Instability
  • Limb length discrepancy
  • Sometimes associated with open wounds

How is it diagnosed?

Bone Deficit can be diagnosed with an x-ray and physical exam.

How is Bone Deficit treated?

It is treated with shortening and compression or bone transport. Bone transport involves placing an external fixator on the involved limb and creating a minimally invasive crack above (or occasionally below) a bone gap.

The external fixation device maintains stability, and after several days the section of bone between the surgical crack and the bone defect is moved towards the defect at a rate of about 1mm per day. The gap slowly closes until the bone docks with the other end. Meanwhile a gap is slowly and steadily formed where the bone was cracked and new bone fills this widening gap. Usually a secondary bone grafting procedure is necessary at the docking site in order to assure healing.