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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Assessment of Lower Limb Load Distribution in Patients Treated with the Ilizarov Method for Tibial Nonunion

Łukasz Pawik, Andżelika Pajchert-Kozłowska, Łukasz Szelerski, Sławomir Żarek, Radosław Górski, Malwina Pawik, Felicja Fink-Lwow, Piotr Morasiewicz

(Department of Physiotherapy in Motor Disorders and Dysfunctions, University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e930849

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.930849

BACKGROUND: Successful treatment of tibial nonunion should lead to a complete bone union, lack of pain, and pathological mobility of the lower extremity, as well as to the achievement of satisfactory joint mobility and muscle strength, which in turn improves its biomechanics. The objective of this study was to assess the load placed on the lower limbs in patients subjected to treatment with the Ilizarov method due to aseptic tibial nonunion.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This research involved 24 participants (average age, 55 years). All were diagnosed with aseptic tibia nonunion and treated with the Ilizarov external fixator between 2000 and 2017. The control group was matched to the treated group in terms of sex and age. This study used pedobarography evaluation to assess lower limb load distribution.
RESULTS: No differences were found in the distribution of the load over the entire foot or of the forefoot and hindfoot of the treated limb in comparison to the non-dominant limb of the controls, or in the healthy limb of the treated group compared to the dominant limb of the control group. Similarly, differences in load distribution between the operated and healthy limbs of the treated group were insignificant.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients subjected to treatment with the Ilizarov external fixator for aseptic tibial nonunion show symmetrical load distribution on both lower limbs following treatment, which does not differentiate them in this respect from healthy individuals. Treated patients presented with a symmetrical distribution of the load on the lower extremities over the entire foot surface, including the forefoot and hindfoot. Finally, the Ilizarov external fixator enables restoration of correct static biomechanics of the treated limbs over the period of aseptic tibial nonunion therapy.

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