Thabet AM(1), Gerzina C(2), Sala F(3), Jeon S(4), Lovisetti G(5), Abdelgawad A(6), DeCoster TA(7), Azzam W(8). Author information:
(1)Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas, USA.
(2)Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Texas Tech University Health
Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
(3)Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, Niguarda Hospital, Milan,
(4)Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business, New
Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.
(5)Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, Menaggio Hospital, Como,
(6)Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Maimonides Medical Center, Brookyln, New
(7)Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
(8)Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Tanta University Hospital, Faculty of
Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.
BACKGROUND: Open tibial plafond fractures (Orthopaedic Trauma Association and AO Foundation [OTA/AO] 43) are associated with severe complications, including deep infection (closed fractures, 20%; open fractures, 30%), amputation (3%-14%), and nonunion (up to 25%). Circular external fixators (CEFs) can minimize soft tissue injury. This study aimed to report the rate of union and occurrence of severe complications in patients with open tibial plafond fractures treated with CEFs. METHODS: A retrospective review of case series was conducted at 3 level I trauma centers. The study included patients older than 18 years with open tibial plafond fractures treated with CEFs. The reported outcomes included union rate, deep infection, operative complications, and limb alignment. The radiographic measurements of anatomic alignment were obtained. Fifty-two patients were included in the study. RESULTS: The primary union rate was 79%. No deep infection occurred in the majority (92%) of patients. No patient required amputation of the affected limb or free flap coverage. CONCLUSION: Definitive fixation of open tibial plafond fractures with CEFs avoided severe soft tissue complications but resulted in variation in final radiographic alignment. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, case series.
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