EXTERNAL skeletal fixation is a very adaptable technique that can be used to stabilise a wide variety of fractures. A basic frame can be applied using relatively inexpensive equipment, and confidence in the procedure can be quickly gained by starting with ‘simple’ fractures and applying straightforward principles. As familiarity with the technique increases, frames can be used to manage more complex fractures and angular limb deformities, or for temporary transarticular fixation to protect ligament repairs or manage severe soft tissue shearing injuries. This article discusses a step-by-step approach to external skeletal fixation and unravels some of the associated terminology.
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