Risk of premature physeal closure in fractures of distal tibia

Antti Stenroos, Jani Puhakka, Jenni Jalkanen, Topi Laaksonen, Reetta Kivisaari, Jussi Kosola, Yrjänä Nietosvaara
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. Part B 2020 June 15
The reported incidence of premature physeal closure (PPC) in fractures of the distal tibia has varied between 5 and 36%, but there is no consensus on the cause. We wanted to determine incidence and predictors of PPC in distal tibia physeal fractures in a population-based patient cohort. Two hundred forty-one patients (195 Peterson type I-V fractures and 46 transitional fractures) treated for a physeal fracture of the distal tibia during a 5-year period in two tertiary-level teaching hospitals. Odds ratios (OR) for developing PPC for different parameters (Peterson fracture type, associated fibula fracture, primary and postreduction displacement, number of reductions and the method of treatment) were calculated by binary logistic regression analysis. In 195 children with Peterson type I-V fractures PPC was diagnosed in 21 children (11%), of which 11 (6%) had surgery at mean 14 months from the fracture to correct either angular deformity or leg length discrepancy. The incidence of distal tibia PPC is at least 0.05/1000 children. More than one reduction attempt was the most significant risk factor (OR 7.0) for PPC. Peterson fracture type, associated fibula fracture, initial or post-reduction displacement or type of treatment did not correlate with PPC. The incidence of distal tibia PPC is at least 0.05/1000 children. The number of reductions correlates positively with the risk of PPC.

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