Management of open lower limb fractures with soft tissue defects can be a technically challenging orthopaedic problem.
Limited availability of orthoplastic services means that alternatives to the fix and flap concept are required in order to prevent
infected non-unions from developing. The proposed ‘bayonet apposition’ allows the surgeon to temporarily shorten the limb
without angulating the limb or creating a bone defect and removing viable bone. The viable bone edges are overlapped in a
bayonet-like manner in order to appose the wound and skin edges. The limb length is restored by gradually distracting the
bone segments once the soft tissues have healed. This is facilitated with a hexapod fixator for stabilization of the fracture
and distraction. Prerequisites for utilizing this method are circumferential soft tissue damage to the lower limb with viable
distal tissue. The bayonet method allows primary closure of a wound and rapid restoration of the native length of the limb.