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Management of open fractures of the tibial shaft in multiple trauma

Author(s): Stanislaw Boltuc | Boguslaw Golec

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 42;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 395;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Intramedullary nailing | multiple trauma | open tibial shaft fracture

Background: The work presents the assessment of the results of treatment of open tibial shaft fractures in polytrauma patients. Materials and Methods: The study group comprised 28 patients who underwent surgical treatment of open fractures of the tibial shaft with locked intramedullary nailing. The mean age of the patients was 43 years (range from 19 to 64 years). The criterion for including the patients in the study was concomitant multiple trauma. For the assessment of open tibial fractures, Gustilo classification was used. The most common concomitant multiple trauma included craniocerebral injuries, which were diagnosed in 12 patients. In 14 patients, the surgery was performed within 24 h after the injury. In 14 patients, the surgery was delayed and was performed 8-10 days after the trauma. Results: The assessment of the results at 12 months after the surgery included the following features: time span between the trauma and the surgery and complications in the form of osteomyelitis and delayed union. The efficacy of gait, muscular atrophy, edema of the operated limb and possible disturbances of its axis were also taken under consideration. In patients operated emergently within 24 h after the injury, infected nonunion was observed in three (10.8%) males. These patients had grade III open fractures of the tibial shaft according to Gustilo classification. No infectious complications were observed in patients who underwent a delayed operation. Conclusion: Evaluation of patients with open fractures of the tibial shaft in multiple trauma showed that delayed intramedullary nailing performed 8-10 days after the trauma, resulted in good outcome and avoided development of delayed union and infected nonunion. This approach gives time for stabilization of general condition of the patient and identification of pathogens from wound culture.
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