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Standards for external fixation application: national survey under the auspices of the German Trauma Society


Tiziani, Simon; Dienstknecht, Thomas; Osterhoff, Georg; Hand, Thomas L; Teuben, Michel; Werner, Clément M L; Pape, Hans-Christoph (2019). Standards for external fixation application: national survey under the auspices of the German Trauma Society. International orthopaedics, 43(8):1779-1785.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION External fixation is widely accepted as a provisional or sometimes definitive treatment for long-bone fractures. Indications include but are not limited to damage control surgery in poly-traumatized patients as well as provisional bridging to definite treatment with soft tissue at risk. As little is known about surgeon's habits in applying this treatment strategy, we performed a national survey. METHODS We utilized the member database of the German Trauma Society (DGU). The questionnaire encompassed 15 questions that addresses topics including participants' position, experience, workplace, and questions regarding specifics of external fixation application in different anatomical regions. Furthermore, we compared differences between trauma centre levels and surgeon-related factors. RESULTS The participants predominantly worked in level 1 trauma centres (42.7%) and were employed as attendings (54.7%). There was widespread consensus for planning and intra-operative radiographical control of external fixation. Surgeons appointed at a level I trauma centre preferred significantly more often supra-acetabular pin placement in external fixation of the pelvis rather than the utilization of iliac pins (75.8%, p = 0.0001). Moreover, they were more likely to favor a mini-open approach to insert humeral pins (42.4%, p = 0.003). Overall, blunt dissection and mini-open approaches seemed equally popular (38.2 and 34.1%). Department chairmen indicated more often than their colleagues to follow written pin-care protocols for minimization of infection (16.7%, p = 0.003). CONCLUSION Despite the fact that external fixation usage is widespread and well established among trauma surgeons in Germany, there are substantial differences in the method of application.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION External fixation is widely accepted as a provisional or sometimes definitive treatment for long-bone fractures. Indications include but are not limited to damage control surgery in poly-traumatized patients as well as provisional bridging to definite treatment with soft tissue at risk. As little is known about surgeon's habits in applying this treatment strategy, we performed a national survey. METHODS We utilized the member database of the German Trauma Society (DGU). The questionnaire encompassed 15 questions that addresses topics including participants' position, experience, workplace, and questions regarding specifics of external fixation application in different anatomical regions. Furthermore, we compared differences between trauma centre levels and surgeon-related factors. RESULTS The participants predominantly worked in level 1 trauma centres (42.7%) and were employed as attendings (54.7%). There was widespread consensus for planning and intra-operative radiographical control of external fixation. Surgeons appointed at a level I trauma centre preferred significantly more often supra-acetabular pin placement in external fixation of the pelvis rather than the utilization of iliac pins (75.8%, p = 0.0001). Moreover, they were more likely to favor a mini-open approach to insert humeral pins (42.4%, p = 0.003). Overall, blunt dissection and mini-open approaches seemed equally popular (38.2 and 34.1%). Department chairmen indicated more often than their colleagues to follow written pin-care protocols for minimization of infection (16.7%, p = 0.003). CONCLUSION Despite the fact that external fixation usage is widespread and well established among trauma surgeons in Germany, there are substantial differences in the method of application.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Department of Trauma Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 August 2019
Deposited On:11 Sep 2018 15:39
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:36
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0341-2695
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-018-4127-0
PubMed ID:30191276

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