Journal List > J Korean Orthop Assoc > v.20(3) > 1124106

Bae, Yoo, Cho, and Lee: Tibia Shaft Fractures Treated with the Hoffmann External Fixation


The anatomical characteristics of the tibia, which is covered by subcutaneous tissue anteriorly, emphasize the vulnerability of the tibia to trauma and frequently result in open comminuted fracture. Open fractures add to the risk of infection and nonunion and require treatment that prevent infection, provide skin coverage, and maintaine reasonable fixation during the early healing phase. 50 cases of tibia shaft fractures were reviewed from May 1978 to December 1983, managed with the modified Vidal-Adrey frame of Hoffmann extemal fixator, at the Orthopaedic Department of Kyung Hee University Hospital. The results obtained were as follows; 1. In 50 cases of tibia fractures, 46 cases are open injuries and 43 cases (86.0%) among them were Grade II and IU open fractures. 2. 31 operative procedures were performed for the coverage of soft tissue injury; 13 cases of rotation and cross-leg pedicle flaps were effective aids, but futher good results could be expected with the micmvascular free flap. 3. 17 operative procedures for acceleration of bony union and reconstruction of bone defect were performed. In cases of massive bone defect, vascularized fibular transplantation and free vascularized fibular graft should be employed, and additional bone shortening and electric stimulation would contribute to the enhancement of the bony union process. 4. The mean period of extemal immobilization with the frame was 15.4 weeks and that of bone union was 31.7 weeks. The periods of bone union were markedly delayed in cases of Grade II andIII open fracture than those of closed and Grade I open fractures. 5. Nonunion developed in 17 cases (34.0%); 4 cases in Grade II and 13 cases in Grade III injury. 6. 12 cases of wound infection developed. 7. 12 cases of pin tract infection happened. More careful pin tract management could diminish this troublesome complication.

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