FAN (fixator assisted nailing)
- Temporary external fixator pins are placed on the leg or deformed bone.
- The bone is then broken (osteotomized) at the location of correction through a small incision.
- The external fixator is then used to correct the deformity.
- The accuracy of the correction is then assessed using x-rays and measurements in the operating room.
- Once the correction is achieved, the nail is then inserted and locked.
- The external fixator is then removed.
- The patient never sees this device, it is simply used to aid in correcting the limb deformity during surgery and does not have it upon waking in the recovery room.
- The skin is closed and the patient is brought to the recovery room.
- See case example FAN
FAP (fixator assisted plating)
- This is the same technique as FAN, but instead of using a nail as the final fixation, we use a plate.
- See case example FAP
Advantages of fixator assisted techniques (FAN and FAP):
- Improved accuracy of deformity correction (compared to non-fixator assisted techniques)
- X-ray verification of bone alignment during operation
- Ensures proper rotation of the bone during fixation
- Very small incisions
- The patient never has to see or endure the external fixator as it is removed in the operating room prior to waking.
Immediately after surgery, patients are allowed toe touch weight bearing on the operated leg.
Patients can expect to be hospitalized for 24-48hrs after the surgery.
The dressings are changed in the hospital on post-operative day 1 or 2 and then kept until the first clinic visit.
Seven days after surgery there is the first follow-up. The wound will be checked and x-rays will be taken.
Generally, the clinic visits and x-ray follow up are then at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months post-operatively.
Physiotherapy after surgery
Mobilisations of the joint proximal and distal to the osteotomy must begin immediately.
Total weight bearing can begin generally after the 6 weeks follow-up
- Delayed union, non-union or malunion of the bone
- Superficial (skin and soft tissues) or deep infection (bone infection)
- Neurovascular injury (very rare)
- Compartment syndrome (very rare)
For a complete list of the risks and complications, please see Patient info.
Patients who will undergo this procedure should read the following sections in the Patient information tab.