External fixation: 6 generations you must know

external fixation

EXTERNAL FIXATION is a safe, viable procedure to achieve temporary rigid stabilization in patient with multiple injuries. On the other hand, it is also a method for correcting skeletal deformities.

These come in various shapes, sizes and have classifications accordingly.

The 6 generations of external fixation are as follows:

  1. Unilateral
  2. Uniplanar frames
  3. Ring fixator
  4. Articulated external fixator
  5. Hexapod
  6. Hybrid ring
external fixation

Unilateral external fixator are the first generations of external fixator. These are the prototype models and are still in use today.

Uniplanar frames : second generation of external fixation

These are the successors of previous generation of EF devices. However, they are prone to cantilevel bending.

Ring fixator

The Ilizarov or ring fixator is in use since the 1950s. These are the third generations of external fixator devices. These are biomechanically superior to earlier devices

4th generation devices are hinge devices

The articulated or hinge EF devices provide joint range of motion after application. They also represent a modification of unilateral frames.

Hexapod devices

  • 5th generation external fixator
  • Aid deformity correction
  • Example is Taylor spatial frame (TSF)
  • Uses computer software for deformity correction

Hybrid ring

These are 6th generation of external fixation devices. They are very easy to use. Half pins enable easy metaphyseal fixation.

You may also like these references

  1. Pubmed – TSF ; Ilizarov
  2. JBJS – DCO

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