Complications associated with bone lengthening of the lower limb by callotasis

Published online: Dec 27 2016

Sybille CASTELEIN, Pierre-Louis DOCQUIER

From the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium


The present study aims to assess the incidence of complications related to bone lengthening procedures and to identify factors that may predict these complications. We retrospectively studied 51 lengthening procedures in 39 patients (mean age 13 years) from 2001 to 2015. A circular external fixator was used in 37 procedures and a monolateral fixator in 14 procedures. Duration of distraction, fixator's time, days of treatment, lengthening percentage, bone healing index, distraction regenerate length, distraction index, risk factors and complications were evaluated. The mean follow-up was 5 years. Complications occurred in 84 % of the procedures. Duration of distraction, fixator's time, days of treatment and distraction regenerate length were predictors of complications. Close follow-up is necessary during distraction and healing period and after fixator removal.