[Ankle para-articular tibial fracture. Is osteosynthesis with the unreamed intramedullary nail adequate?]

D Richter, M P Hahn, R A Laun, A Ekkernkamp, G Muhr, P A Ostermann
Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift Für Alle Gebiete der Operativen Medizen 1998, 69 (5): 563-70
In a prospective study, 53 fractures of the distal fifth of the tibia were stabilized by unreamed nailing. Additional involvement of the ankle joint occurred in 18 patients. 50 patients returned for follow-up. In 30 patients tibia and fibula were fractured at the same (distal) level; in 20 patients the fracture of the fibula was located more proximally. In 12 patients the fractures extended into the tibial pilon. Severe soft tissue damage was seen in 24 fractures (18 open, 6 closed). Ninety percent of all fractures healed uneventfully without further surgical intervention after unreamed nailing. In two patients the unreamed nail had to be exchanged for a reamed tibial nail. Bone grafting and secondary dynamization of the nail by removal of a proximal interlocking bolt were performed in one case each. Thirty-one fractures healed in anatomical position. Valgus or varsus angulation of less than 5 degrees occurred in 18 patients. One fracture healed with rotatory angulation of 15 degrees. The highest rate of complications (22%) was seen in patients with distal fractures of the fibula without additional plating (of the fibula). There was no deep infection. Tibial fractures close to the ankle joint can be managed by unreamed nailing. Distal fractures of the fibula should be stabilized by additional plating. Because of the unreamed technique of implantation this procedure can also be used in grade II or III open fractures.

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