Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 4 , ISSUE 2 ( October, 2009 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

External fixation as a primary and definitive treatment for tibial diaphyseal fractures

Michail Beltsios, Olga Savvidou, John Kovanis, Panagiotis Alexandropoulos, Panagiotis Papagelopoulos

Keywords : External fixation, Definitive treatment, Open tibial fractures, Threatened compartment, Syndrome, Multiply injured patients

Citation Information : Beltsios M, Savvidou O, Kovanis J, Alexandropoulos P, Papagelopoulos P. External fixation as a primary and definitive treatment for tibial diaphyseal fractures. 2009; 4 (2):81-87.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-009-0062-3

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2009; The Author(s).


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of unilateral external fixator as primary and definitive treatment for open tibial fractures, fractures with severe soft tissues injuries, threatened compartment syndrome, and in multiply injured patients. Two hundred and twenty-three tibial shaft fractures (212 patients) were treated. In open fractures, union was achieved in 25 weeks, while in closed in 21. There were 18 nonunions, 21 delayed unions, 4 malunions, 58 pin infections and 3 osteomyelitis. A reoperation was performed in 42 patients. Fat embolism was diagnosed in three patients, pulmonary embolism in five and deep venous thrombosis in 14. The external fixator was definitive treatment in 87.27%. Unilateral external fixators can be used as primary and definitive treatment for complicated tibia shaft fractures. Re-operation or change of the method must be performed only when there is a delay in callus formation.

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