The locking compression plate (LCP) is an angle-stable fixator intended for intracorporeal application. In selected cases, it can be applied externally in an extracorporeal location to function as a monolateral external fixator. We describe one patient with Schatzker V tibial plateau fracture and one patient with Gustillo IIIB open tibia shaft fracture treated initially with traditional external fixation for whom exchange fixation with externally applied LCPs was performed. The first case went on to bony union while the second case required bone grafting for delayed union. Both patients found that the LCP external fixators facilitated mobilisation and were more manageable and aesthetically acceptable than traditional bar-Schanz pin fixators.

Plate external fixation is not a new concept. While it has been described in the management of open fractures1-3, nonunion1-4, septic arthritis2 and even as an adjunct in distraction osteogenesis5 (Table 1), it is still deemed unconventional and does not enjoy the same place in classical textbooks as other methods of fracture fixation.

Table 1Comparison of Reports of Plate External Fixation

Understandably, the design of implants of old, such as the Zespol implant (Mikromed Sp. zo.o., Dabrowa G