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Taylor Spatial Frame

Correcting multiplanar lower-limb pediatric deformities requires complex and, in many cases, staged procedures. The Taylor-Spatial Frame (TSF) is a sophisticated external fixator system that can be used to treat simple to complex multiplanar and multiapical skeletal deformities. As the world's most advanced, versatile and clinically proven circular fixator, the Taylor Spatial Frame system enables uncompromising stability, flexibility and precision or in a word, control.

Candidates for Taylor Spatial Frame Treatment

Limb deformity may result from various traumatic sequelae. The most common cause is fracture malunion, but in growing children, shortening and angulation secondary to physis injury is also common. Correction of posttraumatic deformities can be done by various approaches. Each method has pros and cons, but a combination of limb shortening and angulation justify external fixator application.

Several external fixators are available. They can be divided into 2 groups: monolateral and circular. A monolateral external fixator may be more easily tolerated, but it is less stable and forgiving compared to the circular external fixator. The Ilizarov frame is a classic example of a circular external fixator. This frame allows excellent stability but has some disadvantages, such as a long surgeon learning curve and difficulty with rotational correction.

The Taylor Spatial Frame (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, Tennessee) is a computerized external fixator with a virtual hinge and the ability to correct 6-axis deformities simultaneously. In contrast with the Ilizarov frame, there is no need for hinge application, multiple frame adjustments, or change of frame configuration to correct multiple plane deformities.

Taylor Spatial Frame Treatment

The Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF) is an external fixator used by podiatric and orthopaedic surgeons to treat complex fractures and bone deformities. The medical device shares a number of components and features of the Ilizarov apparatus. The Taylor Spatial Frame is a hexapod device based on a Stewart platform, and was invented by an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Charles Taylor. The device consists of two aluminum rings connected by six struts. Each strut can be independently lengthened or shortened. Connected to a bone by wires or half pins, the attached bone can be manipulated in six axes (anterior/posterior, varus/valgus, lengthen/shorten.) Angular, translational, rotational, and length deformities can all be corrected simultaneously with the TSF.

The TSF is used in both adults and children. It is used for the treatment of acute fractures, mal-unions, non-unions and congenital deformities. It can be used on both the upper and lower limbs. Specialized foot rings are also available for the treatment of complex foot deformities. Once the fixator is attached to the bone, the deformity is characterized by studying the postoperative x-rays. The angular, translational, rotational, and length deformity values are then entered into specialized software online, along with parameters such as the ring size and initial strut lengths. The software then produces a "prescription" of strut changes that the patient can follow. The struts are adjusted daily by the patient until the correct alignment is achieved. Correction of the bone deformity can typically take 3–4 weeks. Once the deformity has been corrected, the frame is then left on the leg till the bone heals. This often takes 3–6 months, depending on the nature and degree of deformity.

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