Open Reduction and Intramedullary Nail Fixation of Closed Tibial Fractures ORTHOPEDICS Bishop, J. A., Dikos, G. D., Mickelson, D., Barei, D. P. 2012; 35 (11): E1631-E1634


Some tibial shaft fractures cannot be accurately reduced using closed or percutaneous techniques during an intramedullary nailing procedure. Under these circumstances, a formal open reduction can be performed. Direct exposure of the fracture facilitates accurate reduction but does violate the soft tissue envelope. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of open reduction prior to intramedullary nailing. Using the trauma database at a Level I trauma center, 11 uncomplicated closed displaced tibia fractures treated with formal open reduction prior to intramedullary nailing were identified and matched with a cohort of 21 fractures treated with closed reduction and nailing. The authors attempted to match 2 controls to each patient to improve the power of the study. Clinical and radiographic outcomes were compared. All fractures ultimately healed within 5° of anatomic alignment. No infections or non-unions occurred in the open reduction group, and 1 deep infection and 1 nonunion occurred in the closed reduction group. No significant differences existed between the study groups. Although closed reduction and intramedullary nailing remains the treatment of choice for most significantly displaced tibial shaft fractures, open reduction with respectful handling of the soft tissue envelope can be safe and effective and should be considered when less invasive techniques are unsuccessful.

View details for DOI 10.3928/01477447-20121023-21

View details for Web of Science ID 000311031900010

View details for PubMedID 23127455