Intramedullary nailing in distal tibial fracture is controversial because of a lack of stability. The present study sought to assess radiological and clinical results for a new “angular-stable” locking system in difficult indications for intramedullary nailing.
Material and method
A prospective study recruited 41 patients (41 tibias) with distal tibial fracture consecutively managed using angular-stable locked intramedullary nails. Radiologic assessment comprised AP and lateral lower-limb views, taken postoperatively and through to last follow-up. The mean distance was measured between fracture and joint line. Fusion, with or without malunion, primary reduction defect, non-union and secondary displacement were recorded, as were all complications.
Mean follow-up was 18±5 months; 3 patients were lost to follow-up. Mean fracture distance from the joint line was 63±25mm. Fusion was achieved within 3 months in 29 cases (76%); delayed fusion in 7 patients (18%) required secondary dynamization at a mean 3 months, with favorable evolution. Revision surgery was required in 2 cases: 1 for secondary displacement exceeding 10°, and 1 for non-union at 7 months. Other complications mainly comprised 4 malunions of less than 10° due to primary reduction defect.
Angular-stable locked lower-limb intramedullary nailing provided a very satisfactory fusion rate, with few complications. It is, however, a demanding procedure, especially as regards fracture reduction and nail positioning in the distal fragment.
Prospective cohort study
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Keywords : Fracture, Leg, Tibia, Nailing, Locking