Haemophilia, a bleeding disorder, causes recurrent intra-articular bleeding of the joints result-ing in chronic haemophilic arthropathy with fixed knee flexion deformity. Mid-long-term results (between 2002 and 2006) of deformity correction in haemophilic patients with Ilizarov type circular external fixators were retrospectively evaluated. There were six patients (five haemophilia A and one haemophilia B). The mean age was 14.7 years (range, 8-22 years) at the time of initial surgery. The mean knee flexion contracture was 45 degrees (range, 30-75 degrees). The mean arc of motion was 58.3 degrees (range, 40-100) before the surgery. The mean duration of follow-up was 8 years (range, 5.5-10 years). The mean duration of external fixation was 4.4 months (range, 2.5-10.5 months). Full extension of the knee joint was obtained in all patients in the early postoperative period. No bleeding, neurological or vascular complications were encountered. The mean amount of recurrence in knee flexion contracture was 10 degrees (range, 0-15 degrees). The amount of the correction was significant (P = 0.0012) and the mean arc of motion was 51.6 degrees (range, 25-90 degrees) that show a decrease of 6.7 degrees (P = 0.04) at the end of follow-up. The circular external fixator is an important, safe and less invasive alternative surgical treatment modality with low recurrence rate. Using the external hinges and distraction during the correction has a protective effect on the joint. It requires a team-work consisting of a haematologist, an orthopaedic surgeon and a physical therapist.
Keywords: external fixator; haemophilia; knee flexion contracture.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.