The results and complications of the use of Bailey-Dubow extensible rods in 28 lower limb bones of 10 patients suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta are reviewed. Twenty-eight operations were for the primary insertion of the rods into the femur or tibia; a further nine operations were needed for the treatment of complications. These complications included 10 instances of proximal migration of the distal end of the rod, one of incorrect placement in the proximal femur, four instances of loosening of a T-piece and three of infection about a rod, two of these being in one child. Most complications arose from technical faults at insertion. The details of technique which have evolved from experience are described. Only one fracture has occurred in a bone after correct placement of a rod. Of the 10 patients, seven of whom had never walked before, seven were able to walk and two others had achieved walking, but were under treatment for complications at the time of review. There was no evidence of damage to growth epiphyses. The greater technical complexity of insertion of Bailey-Dubow rods is well justified by the results obtained when they are correctly applied.
- © 1984 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery