From 1993 to the beginning of 1996 28 patients (20 male/8 female) with open fractures of the lower leg (classification of Gustilo Type II, Type III) were treated by a primary shortening with a maximum of 5.7 cm (+/- 0.6 cm) after first debridement. After this management 23 patients showed a good soft-tissue cover; 5 patients needed a supplementary musculus latissimus dorsi-transfer to cover the bone. After an average of 22 days (+/- 4.2 days) and the radiologic sign of new callus 8 patients were treated by callotaxis in the fracture gap; 20 patients underwent lengthening by callotaxis of a separate osteotomy after an average of 24 days (+/- 3.6 days). After the mean of 52 weeks (+/- 1 weeks) all patients demonstrated good healing of the fracture and osteotomy. No one showed clinical or radiological signs of osteitis.