Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Complex Tibial Shaft Fractures in Children Involving the Distal Physis Managed with the Ilizarov Method

Gareth P Rogers, Matheus L Azi, Hiang B Tan, Patrick Foster

Keywords : Distal tibial physis, Ilizarov frame, Pediatric, Salter Harris, Tibial diaphysis

Citation Information : Azi ML, Rogers GP, Tan HB, Foster P. Complex Tibial Shaft Fractures in Children Involving the Distal Physis Managed with the Ilizarov Method. 2019; 14 (1):20-24.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1421

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-08-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Introduction: Segmental fractures in the juvenile distal tibia with physeal involvement present specific challenges. Injury to the growth plate may be overlooked, potentially resulting in late sequelae. Fracture stabilization can be complex. Previous reports of management of such an injury are by open reduction and internal fixation. This study reviews the management and outcome of a group of such patients treated with Ilizarov external fixators. Materials and methods: Patients aged 16 or younger treated in our unit between March 2013 and November 2014 by Ilizarov circular fine wire fixation for tibial fractures with ipsilateral physeal injuries were identified. Retrospective collection of patient demographics, fracture classification, treatment pathways, fixation methods, postoperative follow-up, outcomes, and complications was undertaken. Results: Eight patients were identified; two had Gustilo and Anderson grade IIIA open injuries. All were managed definitively using an Ilizarov external fixator in combination with percutaneous screw fixation of the physeal component as required. All patients were ambulant during treatment and were allowed unrestricted weight-bearing immediately postoperative. All but one attended school. All fractures united. In follow-up, one patient had a distal tibial physeal growth arrest, but there were no other complications. Conclusion: Pediatric patients with complex distal tibial fractures should be scrutinized for concomitant physeal injury. Where identified treatment, using a combination of internal fixation and an Ilizarov fixator can be considered.

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