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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Our 78-year old father is having surgery right now for a fractured femur. He broke it right above his fairly new knee joint replacement. The surgeon is using a device called a LISS to make the repair. How does this device work exactly?

The Less Invasive Stabilization System (LISS) is a fixation device to hold the bone together while it heals. It was designed to be used with fractures of the femur (thighbone).

The LISS is designed to be inserted percutaneously, meaning through the skin. The surgeon uses a special X-ray called fluoroscopy to see inside and place the device. The LISS consists of a contoured plate that matches the shape and length of the femur. Self-drilling, self-tapping screws lock into the plate.

The LISS has some advantages for treating a fractured femur in a hip or knee with a stable joint replacement that other methods don't have. For example the locking plates give stability when the bone is osteoporotic (brittle). The plates are less damaging to the bone's blood supply.

The reported complication rate with the LISS is around five per cent. This is much less than the 15 to 50 per cent associated with other fixation methods. Other treatment options include the traditional plate and screws, cable plates, or bone graft.


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