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Surgical Techniques   |    
The Clamshell Osteotomy: A New Technique to Correct Complex Diaphyseal MalunionsSurgical Technique
George V. Russell, MD1; Matt L. Graves, MD1; Michael T. Archdeacon, MD, MSE2; David P. Barei, MD, FRCS(C)3; Glenn A. Brien, Jr., MD4; Scott E. Porter, MD5
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216. E-mail address for G.V. Russell: gvrussell@umc.edu. E-mail address for M.L. Graves: mgraves@umc.edu
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, P.O. Box 670212, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0212
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harborview Medical Center, P.O. Box 359798, 325 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104-2499
4 Capital Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Center, 290 Layfair Drive, Suite A, Flowood, MS 39232
5 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Greenville Hospital System, 701 Grove Road, 2nd Floor Support Tower, Greenville, SC 29615
View Disclosures and Other Information
DISCLOSURE: In support of their research for or preparation of this work, one or more of the authors received, in any one year, outside funding or grants in excess of $10,000 from Synthes. One or more of the authors, or a member of his or her immediate family, received, in any one year, payments or other benefits of less than $10,000 or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity (AO North America and Zimmer).

Investigation performed at University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi; University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
The original scientific article in which the surgical technique was presented was published in JBJS Vol. 91-A, pp. 314-24, February 2009
A video supplement to this article will be available from the Video Journal of Orthopaedics. A video clip will be available at the JBJS web site, www.jbjs.org. The Video Journal of Orthopaedics can be contacted at (805) 962-3410, web site: www.vjortho.com.

Copyright ©2010 American Society for Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
JBJS Essential Surgical Techniques, 2010 Sep 01;92(Supplement 1 Part 2):158-175. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.01328
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: 

The treatment of complex diaphyseal malunions is challenging, requiring extensive preoperative planning and precise operative technique. We have developed a simpler method to treat some of these deformities.

METHODS: 

Ten patients with complex diaphyseal malunions (including four femoral and six tibial malunions) underwent a clamshell osteotomy. The indications for surgery included pain at adjacent joints and deformity. After surgical exposure, the malunited segment was transected perpendicular to the normal diaphysis proximally and distally. The transected segment was again osteotomized along its long axis and was wedged open, similar to opening a clamshell. The proximal and distal segments of the diaphysis were then aligned with use of an intramedullary rod as an anatomic axis template and with use of the contralateral extremity as a length and rotation template. The patients were assessed clinically and radiographically at a mean of thirty-one months (range, six to fifty-two months) after the osteotomy.

RESULTS: 

Complete angular correction was achieved in each case; the amount of correction ranged from 2° to 20° in the coronal plane, from 0° to 32° in the sagittal plane, and from 0° to 25° in the axial plane (rotation). Correction of length ranged from 0 to 5 cm, and limb length was restored to within 2 cm in all patients. All osteotomy sites were healed clinically by six months. While no deep infections occurred, superficial wound dehiscence occurred in two patients along the approach for the longitudinal portion of the osteotomy, emphasizing the importance of careful soft-tissue handling and patient selection.

CONCLUSIONS: 

The clamshell osteotomy provides a useful way to correct many forms of diaphyseal malunion by realigning the anatomic axis of the long bone with use of a reamed intramedullary rod as a template. This technique provides an alternative that could decrease preoperative planning time and complexity as well as decrease the need for intraoperative osteotomy precision in a correctly chosen subset of patients with diaphyseal deformities.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CITATION: 

"The Clamshell Osteotomy: A New Technique to Correct Complex Diaphyseal Malunions" (2009;91:314-24).

Figures in this Article

    Topics

    femur ; osteotomy ; tibia
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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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