0
Scientific Articles   |    
Extracapsular Placement of Distal Tibial Transfixation Wires
Anand M. Vora, MD1; Steven L. Haddad, MD2; Anish Kadakia, MD3; Martin L. Lazarus, MD4; Bradley R. Merk, MD3
1 Lake Forest Orthopaedic Associates, Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, 1200 North Westmoreland Drive, Suite 100, Lake Forest, IL 60045
2 Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, Glenview Medical Arts Building, 2401 Ravine Way, 2nd Floor, Glenview, IL 60025. E-mail address: slhaddad@earthlink.net
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, 645 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 910, Chicago, IL 60611
4 Department of Radiology, Evanston Hospital, 2650 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
View Disclosures and Other Information
The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Laboratory, Evanston Hospital, Evanston, Illinois

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2004 May 01;86(5):988-993
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case

Abstract

Background: Treatment of tibial plafond fractures with external fixation may involve use of transfixation wires within the periarticular region. Pin track infections that develop along wires placed intracapsularly may lead to joint infection. To our knowledge, there have been no previous investigations assessing the circumferential reflection of the ankle capsule or the potential for communication between the distal tibiofibular joint and the tibiotalar joint. The purpose of this study was to define these anatomic entities to provide guidelines for safe extracapsular placement of distal tibial wires.

Methods: Twelve fresh-frozen cadaveric ankles and three ankles of living human volunteers were utilized for this study. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging was performed on each ankle after pressurized distention of the joint capsule with gadolinium solution. The perpendicular distance from the subchondral bone at the joint line to the capsular synovial reflection was measured with use of a verified technique. The cadaveric ankles were sectioned, the capsular synovial reflections were measured by investigators who were blinded to the imaging results, and the corresponding measurements were compared.

Results: The anterolateral capsular synovial region displayed the most proximal reflection in all specimens (mean, 9.3 mm; maximum, 12.2 mm). The anteromedial region displayed less reflection (mean, 3.3 mm; maximum, 5.5 mm). All posteromedial and posterolateral synovial reflections were =2 mm. Capsular synovial reflections proximal to the medial and lateral malleoli were negligible. In all ankles, the distal tibiofibular joint communicated with the tibiotalar joint and had a maximum proximal extension of 20.6 mm.

Conclusions: Placement of distal tibial transfixation wires >12.2 mm from the subchondral surface of the plafond avoids penetration of the capsule. The distal tibiofibular joint communicates with the tibiotalar joint and thus should not be penetrated, to ensure extracapsular placement of the wires.

Clinical Relevance: Stabilization with distal tibial transfixation wires should be proximal to the reflected joint capsule and should avoid penetration of the distal tibiofibular joint to minimize the risk of penetration of the capsule and the potential for joint infection as a sequela of superficial pin track infection.

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

    References

    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
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    12/31/2013
    S. Carolina - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Medical Univerity of South Carlonina
    04/02/2014
    W. Virginia - Charleston Area Medical Center