Can External Fixation Have An Impact For Pediatric Patients?

Ron Raducanu DPM FACFAS

In the last several years, there has been a large push toward the use of external fixation for complex surgeries such as Charcot reconstruction and foot and ankle trauma. A little known application for external fixation is podopediatric surgery.

Podopediatric surgery can be stressful in general. This is not because of a lack confidence in one’s skills nor is it a lack of successful outcomes. It is the nature of performing surgery in this patient population.

Now add ex-fix to this equation. Not only do you need to have strong proficiency with ex-fix techniques (setting up a mini-rail frame for example in this population) but one needs to ensure strong communication with the patients and their families, and be prepared to do any necessary troubleshooting.

Accordingly, over the next few months, this blog will present several applications of external fixation/callus distraction in the pediatric population. I will focus on the techniques’ specific uses and pearls related to pre-, peri- and postoperative management.

If you have an interest in this topic, I highly recommend an article by Martin and colleagues in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery.1 It has a lot of the didactics associated with this topic that I will touch upon in upcoming blogs.

If you have anything specific you want me to address with the use of ex-fix in the pediatric population or other questions/situations you have come across over the years, please e-mail me at


1. Martin DE, Stran DC, Southerland JT, Wesselowski BE. Callus distraction in reconstructive foot surgery. J Foot Ankle Surg Sept/Oct 1996; 35(5): 489-506.

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