[Treatment of adult tibial diaphysis fractures with reamed and locked intramedullary nailing]

Halil Burç, Muhsin Dursun, Haldun Orhun, Volkan Gürkan, Ilhan Bayhan
Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica 2009, 43 (1): 7-13

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the results of reamed and locked intramedullary nailing for tibial diaphysis fractures.

METHODS: The study included 73 patients (68 males, 5 females; mean age 31 years; range 17 to 68 years) who were treated with reamed and locked intramedullary nailing for tibial diaphysis fractures. There were 28 AO/ASIF type A, 29 type B, and 16 type C fractures. The fractures involved the proximal 1/3 (n=12), middle 1/3 (n=50), and distal 1/3 (n=11) of the tibial diaphysis. Twenty-eight fractures (38.4%) were closed. According to the Gustilo-Anderson classification, 30 patients (41.1%) had grade I, 10 patients (13.7%) had grade II, and five patients (6.9%) had grade IIIA open fractures. Intramedullary nailing was performed following open reduction in 17 patients (23.3%), and closed reduction in 56 patients (76.7%). The mean time to surgery was 3.4 days (range 2 to 11 days) and the mean follow-up was 48 months (range 24 to 60 months). The patients were evaluated with respect to range of motion, time to union, and complications. Functional results were assessed using the Johner-Wrush criteria.

RESULTS: Union was achieved in all the patients within a mean of 18.2 weeks (range 8 to 52 weeks). Four patients required dynamization because of delayed union and grafting was performed in one patient. Transient sensorial deficit occurred in one patient after dynamization. One patient underwent revision surgery because of migration of the distal locking screws. The only limitation of range of motion was seen in flexion of two patients (2.7%) who developed anterior knee pain. According to the Johner-Wrush criteria, functional results were very good in 45 patients (61.6%), and good in 28 patients (38.4%).

CONCLUSION: Treatment of tibial diaphysis fractures with reamed and locked intramedullary nailing is an appropriate choice with a low complication rate. It can be safely used in moderately contaminated open fractures.

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