Results and outcomes after operative treatment of high-energy tibial plafond fractures.
ABSTRACT The purposes of this study were to evaluate the clinical and radiographic results and the functional outcomes after operative treatment of tibial plafond fractures treated with internal or external fixation.
A retrospective review identified 76 patients with 79 fractures (OTA 43-B or 43-C) of the tibial plafond. Their average age was 45 years. Twenty-one fractures (27%) were open, and 43 (54%) were type 43-C3. Five were type 43-B1, four were 43-B2, two were 43-B3, 15 were 43-C1, and 10 were 43-C2. Patients were treated with open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) (n = 63) or limited open articular reduction and wire ring external fixation (EF) (n = 16). Tibial fixation was performed at a mean of 7.6 days after injury, with staged reconstruction in 56 fractures (71%). Bone graft was used initially in 32 fractures (41%). Early and late complications, secondary procedures, and radiographic evidence of post-traumatic arthritis were evaluated. Foot Function Index (FFI) and Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (MFA) questionnaires were administered.
Seventy-nine fractures were followed clinically and radiographically for a mean of 26 (range 24 to 38) months, and 33 patients completed outcomes questionnaires at a mean of 98 months after surgery. Early complications included two superficial wound problems and three deep infections. Late complications included two nonunions and four malunions. Thirty-one fractures (39%) developed post-traumatic arthritis. Complications occurred after six of 21 open fractures and after 11 of 43 type C3 fractures (p = 0.007). Patients treated with EF more frequently had type C3 fractures (88% versus 46%, p = 0.004) compared with patients treated with ORIF. The EF patients developed more complications (six of 16, p = 0.007) and post-traumatic arthritis (11 of 16, p = 0.01) when compared with ORIF. Patients treated with EF (88% were type C3 fractures) had lower FFI and MFA scores. The greatest impairment in outcome was noted after type C3 fractures, regardless of the method of treatment.
Tibial plafond fractures are difficult to manage and may have serious complications. We identified more complications, more secondary procedures, and worse outcomes in patients with articular and metaphyseal comminution (type C3). ORIF was associated with fewer complications and less post-traumatic arthritis when compared to EF, possibly reflecting a selection bias for open injuries and more severely comminuted fractures to be managed with EF. ORIF with appropriate soft tissue handling resulted in acceptable results in most patients. Severely damaged soft tissues and highly comminuted C3 fractures may be safely treated with EF. Loss of function and progression to post-traumatic arthritis are common after tibial plafond fractures. Assessment of long-term results and the efficacy of additional reconstructive procedures will refine the treatment algorithms for these fractures.
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ABSTRACT: The treatment of tibial plafond fractures is challenging to foot and ankle surgeons. Open reduction and internal fixation and limited internal fixation combined with an external fixator are 2 of the most commonly used methods of tibial plafond fracture repair. However, conclusions regarding the superior choice remain controversial. The present meta-analysis aimed to quantitatively compare the postoperative complications between open reduction and internal fixation and limited internal fixation combined with an external fixator for tibial plafond fractures. Nine studies with 498 fractures in 494 patients were included in the present study. The meta-analysis found no significant differences in bone healing complications (risk ratio [RR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68 to 2.01, p = .58], nonunion (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.51 to 2.36, p = .82), malunion or delayed union (RR 1.24, 95% CI 0.57 to 2.69, p = .59), superficial (RR 1.56, 95% CI 0.43 to 5.61, p = .50) and deep (RR 1.89, 95% CI 0.62 to 5.80) infections, arthritis symptoms (RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.58, p = .18), or chronic osteomyelitis (RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.84, p = .20) between the 2 groups.The Journal of foot and ankle surgery: official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons 08/2014; DOI:10.1053/j.jfas.2014.06.007 · 0.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The treatment of highly comminuted tibial pilon fractures is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness and outcomes of primary arthrodesis following highly comminuted tibial plafond fractures.METHODS: A database search was performed to identify all patients who underwent blade plate arthrodesis at our institution over a sixteen-year period. Inclusion criteria included patients with an Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen/Orthopaedic Trauma Association type-C2 or type-C3 pilon fracture that was deemed to be non-reconstructable by the treating surgeon. Outcomes were measured using the Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey, time to independent walking, time to consolidation of the arthrodesis, and wound-healing complications.RESULTS: A total of twenty patients were included in this study, and seventeen patients (85%) were available for follow-up at a minimum of two years after their surgery. Wound infections or wound dehiscence did not occur in this series. All patients were walking without crutches or a walker at their latest follow-up. One patient developed an aseptic nonunion and healed successfully after revision surgery.CONCLUSIONS: Blade plate ankle fusion using a posterior approach is a reliable method for the treatment of a small subset of patients with severely comminuted, non-reconstructable pilon fractures.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 06/2014; 96(11):e91. DOI:10.2106/JBJS.M.00544 · 4.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction Open pilon fracture management and treatment poses a significant challenge to orthopedic surgeons. The purpose of this study was to determine patient outcomes for open pilon fractures based on wound complication and infection rates, as well as subjective outcome instruments. Materials and methods This was a retrospective consecutive case series of 28 fractures with Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)-type 43-B and 43-C open pilon fractures. Mean length of follow-up was 36 months and minimum of 1 year. Ten fractures were Gustilo and Anderson grade IIIB, and the remaining fractures were grades I–IIIA. Patients were initially treated with spanning external fixation and staged wound debridement followed by osteosynthesis of the articular surface. Metaphyseal fixation was by either plate fixation or Ilizarov frame. The primary outcome was the incidence of deep tissue infection requiring surgery. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of other complications (nonunion, malunion, amputation) and functional outcomes (Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment Questionnaire and AAOS Foot and Ankle Questionnaire). Results Four patients developed deep tissue infections, three in the internal fixation group and one in the Ilizarov group, and all were treated successfully with staged debridement. There were two delayed unions required bone grafting, and infection-free union was ultimately achieved in all fractures. Two patients underwent arthrodesis secondary to post-traumatic arthritis, while no patients experienced malunions or amputations. Conclusions The use of staged wound debridement in conjunction with either plate fixation or Ilizarov frame achieves low rates of wound infection and stable fixation after anatomic joint reconstruction for OTA-type 43-B and 43-C open pilon fractures.European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology 09/2014; 25(3). DOI:10.1007/s00590-014-1552-7 · 0.18 Impact Factor