Taylor Spatial Frame or TSF is fixator that is used externally by orthopaedic and podiatric surgeons for treating bone deformities and complex fractures. This device is similar to the Ilizarov apparatus in many features and components. The Taylor Spatial Frame is based on Stewart platform and is hexapod device invented by an orthopaedic surgeon named Charles Taylor. The device has 2 or more carbon or aluminum rings that are connected using six struts. The strut has the ability to be shortened or lengthened independently in order to gain the result as desired like lengthening and providing compression at fracture site. The attached bone is connected to one bone with the help of half pins or wires and the manipulation of attached bone is possible in 6 axis (varus or valgus, anterior or posterior, shorten or lengthen). Transitional, Angular, translational, rotational, and length deformity can be made right simultaneously with TSF.
The TSF can be used both in children and adults. It can be used in treating acute fractures, non unions, mal unions and congenital deformities. It is possible to use TSF in both upper and the lower limb. Specialized foot rings are available that can be used for treating deformities like complex foot deformity.
After the operation and once fixator has been attached to bone, deformity is characterized by a study of the post operative X – rays. The transitional, angular, rotational and values of deformity in length are entered into specialized software along with the parameters like ring size and the initial lengths of the strut. The software produces a strut change prescription that patient follows. The patient has to adjust the struts daily till correct alignment is not achieved. Correction of bone deformity may typically need three to four weeks. Once deformity is corrected, frame is left on limb till bone heals. This takes three to six months often, based on the deformitys nature and degree.
The pins of TSF should be kept extremely clean and should be cleaned on a daily basis to prevent any infection. Infections of pin sites in external fixator could be very serious and sometimes results in osteomyelitis that demands intravenous antibiotics and hospitalisation.