Fibrous dysplasia is a condition in which normal skeletal bone changes into fibroblastic stroma and immature bone. We report our experience of a unilateral external fixator applied for the treatment of polyostotic fibrous dysplasia arising in the elbow. The patient was a 38 year-old man. His main complaint was left elbow pain and a mass, which increased in size. The histological diagnosis from the needle biopsy was fibrous dysplasia. An articulated unilateral external fixator was used for immobilization. The lesions in the left distal humerus and proximal ulna were curetted and cancellous bone was packed into the cavity. An external fixator (Elbow Fixator, Orthofix Inc., McKinney, USA) was applied from the proximal humeral shaft to the distal ulnar shaft for postoperative tentative immobilization and preservation of the affected elbow joint movement. At two years after the operation, the range of motion of the affected elbow was 90 degrees in flexion and -35 degrees in extension. The range of motion in pronation and supination of the left forearm was normal. No evidence of recurrence was noted at two years after surgery. The merits of using an external fixator were: an earlier start of range of motion exercises, and a decrease in the risk of tumor dissemination.
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