Author(s): Inan M, Halici M, Ayan I, Tuncel M, Karaoglu S
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to compare the radiographic results and clinical outcome of unreamed tibial nailing (UTN) and Ilizarov external fixation (IEF) for the treatment of type IIIA open fractures of the tibia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty-one patients with open type IIIA tibial shaft fractures were treated with an IEF (n = 32) or UTN (n = 29). Both groups were compared for union time, secondary outcomes of nonunion, infections, mechanical failure of the implant, and malunion. RESULTS: The average time-to-bone healing was 19 weeks (range 14-23 weeks) for IEF and 21 weeks (range 16-36 weeks) for UTN; it was significantly shorter in the IEF group (P = 0.039). One patient had refracture in the IEF group. Malunion occurred in four patients for each group. Posttraumatic osteomyelitis occurred in two patients in the IEF group and in three patients in the UTN group. In the IEF group, additional surgical procedures were indicated in three cases including sequestrectomy (n = 1), and pin replacement (n = 2). In the UTN group, seven patients needed additional surgery including bone grafting (n = 3), nail exchanged (n = 1), and posttraumatic osteomyelitis (n = 3). CONCLUSION: The results of the current study showed that IEF technique had a notable incidence of pin-tract infection, joint contracture, and shorthening related to treatment of the delayed union. The UTN technique had the disadvantage of a posttraumatic osteomyelitis and delayed union requiring additional surgery. We believe that the decision to use IEF or UTN should be made on a case-by-case basis.
This article was published in Arch Orthop Trauma Surg
and referenced in Journal of Trauma & Treatment