Small External Fixator

The new Small External Fixator is a major upgrade of the current system in terms of handling, functionality as well as patient comfort, and is mainly used for the treatment of distal radial fractures. The latter represent the most common fracture type with a frequency of about 25%. Extension fractures, also well known as Colles fractures, figure with an occurrence rate of about 90% among the distal radial fractures.

Internal fixation using an external fixator is performed in about 15% of all forearm fractures treated operatively. This type of osteosynthesis is employed primarily for 23-C and, to a lesser extent, also for 23-A2 and 23-A3 fractures.

The new Small External Fixator allows for wrist spanning and convenient non-spanning external fixation which enables early wrist mobilization.


A new generation of clamps offers simplified handling, which shortens the operating time. This clip-on, self-holding clamp enables rod-to-rod, rod-to-Schanz screw, and rod-to-K-wire connections. The function of the rod-to-rod connection is new for a clip-on, self-holding clamp. Until now, a combination clamp had to be used for this function. This clamp used with the curved carbon-fiber rod, is suitable for non-spanning wrist fixation. The clip-on, self-holding clamp has an overall length of 33 mm and a maximum diameter of 10.5 mm.

Small Combination Clamp, MR safe

The new Small Combination Clamp (MR safe) for the Small External Fixation System is a multi-functional, snap-on clamp designed for rod-to-pin or rod-to-rod attachment. It provides more flexibility for the surgeon by allowing independent pin placement in various frame configurations. Therefore, only this single clamp is necessary compared to the four different clamps needed previously. The Small Combination Clamp accepts 4.0 carbon fiber rods, 4.0 mm stainless steel connecting bars, 4.0 mm Schanz screws, and 2.5 mm K-wires, and is available in MR-safe material. A new Wire Cutter and Graphic Case complete the new Small External Fixation System, which addresses fractures of the carpus, metacarpals, and phalanges.

Wire Cutter

The two-handed Wire Cutter for small fixation wires effectively cuts K-wires up to 2.5 mm without creating a burr. The Wire Cutter will be part of the Small External Fixator System.


Small Universal Chuck with T-Handle

The Small Universal Chuck with T-Handle is used to insert Schanz screws or wires from 1.0 - 6.0 mm diameters. The size of the T-Handle has been reduced for lighter weight and easier handling and will be available for all External Fixation Systems.

Fixation of distal humeral fractures in children using the small external fixator

Paediatric Supracondylar Fracture Management using the small external fixator

Hazards and labeling

Due to varying countries’ legal and regulatory approval requirements, consult the appropriate local product labeling for approved intended use of the products described on this website. All devices on this website are approved by the AO Technical Commission. For logistical reasons, these devices may not be available in all countries worldwide at the date of publication. 

Legal restrictions

This work was produced by AO Foundation, Switzerland. All rights reserved by AO Foundation. This publication, including all parts thereof, is legally protected by copyright.

Any use, exploitation or commercialization outside the narrow limits set forth by copyright legislation and the restrictions on use laid out below, without the publisher‘s consent, is illegal and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to photostat reproduction, copying, scanning or duplication of any kind, translation, preparation of microfilms, electronic data processing, and storage such as making this publication available on Intranet or Internet.

Some of the products, names, instruments, treatments, logos, designs, etc referred to in this publication are also protected by patents, trademarks or by other intellectual property protection laws (eg, “AO” and the AO logo are subject to trademark applications/registrations) even though specific reference to this fact is not always made in the text. Therefore, the appearance of a name, instrument, etc without designation as proprietary is not to be construed as a representation by the publisher that it is in the public domain.

Restrictions on use: The rightful owner of an authorized copy of this work may use it for educational and research purposes only. Single images or illustrations may be copied for research or educational purposes only. The images or illustrations may not be altered in any way and need to carry the following statement of origin “Copyright by AO Foundation, Switzerland”.

Check for more information.


If you have any comments or questions on the articles or the new devices, please do not hesitate to contact us

“approved by AO Technical Commission” and “approved by AO Foundation”
The brands and labels “approved by AO Technical Commission” and “approved by AO Foundation”, particularly "AO" and the AO logo, are AO Foundation's intellectual property and subject to trademark applications and registrations, respectively. The use of these brands and labels is regulated by licensing agreements between AO Foundation and the producers of innovation products obliged to use such labels to declare the products as AO Technical Commission or AO Foundation approved solutions. Any unauthorized or inadequate use of these trademarks may be subject to legal action.

AO ITC Innovations Magazine

Find all issues of the AO ITC Innovations Magazine for download here.

Meet the Experts

Directly learn about AO Approved Solutions from the Experts themselves.

Innovation Awards

Recognizing outstanding achievements in development and fostering excellence in surgical innovation.