Articles   |    
Operative Treatment of Fractures of the Tibial Plafond. A Randomized, Prospective Study*
View Disclosures and Other Information
Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1996 Nov 01;78(11):1646-57
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case


We performed a randomized, prospective study to compare the results of two methods for the operative fixation of fractures of the tibial plafond. Surgeons were assigned to a group on the basis of the operation that they preferred (randomized-surgeon design). In the first group, which consisted of eighteen patients, open reduction and internal fixation of both the tibia and the fibula was performed through two separate incisions. An additional patient, who had an intact fibula, had fixation of the tibia only through an anteromedial incision. The second group consisted of twenty patients who were managed with external fixation with or without limited internal fixation (a fibular plate or tibial interfragmentary screws). Ten (26 per cent) of the thirty-nine fractures were open, and seventeen (44 per cent) were type III according to the classification of Rüedi and Allgöwer.There were fifteen operative complications in seven patients who had been managed with open reduction and internal fixation and four complications in four patients who had been managed with external fixation. All but four of the complications were infection or dehiscence of the wound that had developed within four months after the initial operation. The complications after open reduction and internal fixation tended to be more severe, and amputation was eventually done in three patients in this group.At a minimum of two years postoperatively (average, thirty-nine months; range, twenty-five to fifty-one months), the average clinical score was lower for the patients who had had a type-II or III fracture, regardless of the type of treatment. With the numbers available, no significant difference was found between the average clinical scores for the two groups. All of the patients, in both groups, who had had a type-II or III fracture had some degree of osteoarthrosis on plain radiographs at the time of the latest follow-up. With the numbers available, there was no significant difference between the two groups with regard to the osteoarthrotic changes.We concluded that external fixation is a satisfactory method of treatment for fractures of the tibial plafond and is associated with fewer complications than internal fixation.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    MA - Boston University Orthopedic Surgical Associates
    CT - Yale University School of Medicine
    DC - Children's National Medical Center
    PA - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center