Tibial non-union is a complication that poses a real challenge for surgeons. Several forms of treatment, depending on the type of non-union, have been described. The present study sought to assess results for treatment of tibial non-union by inter-tibiofibular graft (ITFG).
Material and method
An exhaustive cohort study was performed on the files of 33 patients: 25 male, 8 female; mean age, 44years. Twenty cases involved high-energy trauma. Twenty-four were open fractures. Twenty-two concerned diaphyseal fracture, 10 of which were complex segmental. Eleven concerned distal fracture, including 4 complete articular fractures. There were 17 cases of septic non-union. There were no cases of severe bone defect. ITFG was performed at a mean 8.7 months post-trauma, as first-line treatment in 30 cases and in second line in 3.
Thirty-one patients showed bone consolidation, at a mean 7.2 months. The 2 failures resulted from technical error. Trauma kinetics emerged as a risk factor for failure.
ITFG remains a useful treatment option in tibial non-union, whether infected or not. The present results are comparable with those of the literature. Although the present series comprised only tight non-union, a study of the literature showed that ITFG can treat bone defects up to 4 or 5cm. Functional results showed tibiotalar joint stiffening, due more to immobilization and non-weight-bearing than to syndesmosis. ITFG thus remains relevant to the treatment of tibial non-union.
Level of evidence
IV, retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Non-union, Bone graft, External fixator, Tibial fracture