OBJECTIVE:
To determine the effectiveness of six-axis analysis deformity correction using the Taylor Spatial Frame for the treatment of posttraumatic tibial malunions and nonunions.

DESIGN:
Retrospectively reviewed, consecutive series. Mean duration of follow-up was 3.2 years (range 2-4.2 years).

SETTING:
Tertiary referral center for deformity correction.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS:
Eighteen patients were included in the study (11 malunions and 7 nonunions). All deformities were posttraumatic in nature. The mean number of operations before the application of the spatial frame was 2.6 (range 1-6 operations). All patients completed the study.

INTERVENTION:
Six-axis analysis deformity correction using the Taylor Spatial Frame (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN) was used for correction of posttraumatic tibial malunion or nonunion. Nine patients had bone grafting at the time of frame application. One patient with a tibial plafond fracture simultaneously had deformity correction and an ankle fusion for a mobile atrophic nonunion. Two patients had infected tibial nonunions that were treated with multiple d├ębridements, antibiotic beads, and bone grafting at the time of spatial frame application. A rotational gastrocnemius flap was used to cover a proximal third tibial defect in one patient. The average length of time the spatial frame was worn, time to healing, was 18.5 weeks (range 12-32 weeks).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:
Assessment of deformity correction in six axes, knee and ankle range of motion, incidence of infection, and return to preinjury activities.

RESULTS:
Of the 18 patients treated with the Taylor Spatial Frame, with adjunctive bone graft as necessary, 17 achieved union and significant correction of their deformities in six axes (ie, coronal angulation and translation, sagittal angulation and translation, rotation, and shortening). Fifteen patients returned to their preinjury activities at last follow-up.

CONCLUSION:
Six-axis analysis deformity correction using the Taylor Spatial Frame is an effective technique to treat posttraumatic malunions and nonunions of the tibia, with several advantages over previously used devices.





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