There are many different medical conditions where use of external fixation and specifically the TAYLOR SPATIAL FRAME device is prescribed. The external fixator can be used to correct arm and leg length discrepancies and deformities including:
Injury and trauma including growth plate fractures, malunion (where the bones heal crookedly), nonunion (where the bone doesn't heal together), shortening and deformity due to bone loss.
Congenital limb length discrepancies. These conditions are associated with many birth defects and deformities including a short femur (thigh bone), otherwise known as fibular hemimelia. Pseudoarthritis in which the bone fails to fuse together such as in a fracture healing site. And hemiatrophy, where the bones of one side of a child's body may grow smaller than the other side.
Short stature including Achondroplasia, other skeletal dysplasias, and Constitutional Short Stature. External fixators can be effective in treating limb length discrepancies linked to dwarfism. Treatment may be appropriate in some cases in order to allow the patient to function more independently.
Infection involving the bone (osteomyelitis) and joint (septic or infectious arthritis). Treatment of bone infection often requires removal of bone segments which may result in angular deformities and limb length discrepancies.
Developmental causes which are related to the slowing of growth and limb deformities caused by illnesses such as Blount's Disease, which typically affects the bone development of overweight toddlers and adolescents.
External fixators are also used in the treatment of pediatric hip disorders such as Developmental Coxa Vara (DCV), Perthes Disease, and Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphyses.
Joint stiffness following injury, infection, or other causes can sometimes be addressed by controlled joint distraction (arthodiatasis), with the use of external fixators.
Clubfoot (talipes equinovarus – TEV), a congenital defect where bones of the foot and ankle are not in alignment can be corrected with external fixation.
Bone fractures in conjunction with soft tissue damage such as burns can be addressed with external fixation because it is a minimally-invasive external device that allows for skin tissue healing while correcting bone fractures at the same time.
Diabetic Charcot Foot. Patients with peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes or other causes can lose the bony architecture of their foot resulting in severe foot and ankle deformities that can lead to ulceration and even amputation. External fixation can be a very effective limb salvage tool, potentially saving a leg from amputation.