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Transient common peroneal nerve palsy following skeletal tibial traction in a morbidly obese patient - case report of a preventable complication

Author(s): Liporace Frank A | Yoon Richard S | Kesani Anil K

Journal: Patient Safety in Surgery
ISSN 1754-9493

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Skeletal traction | Nerve palsy | Obesity | Lower extremity trauma

Abstract Today, skeletal tibial traction remains a mainstay of initial management following high-energy, major orthopaedic lower extremity trauma. Historically utilized as definitive fracture management, recent advances in surgical technology have moved skeletal tibial traction into the realm of temporary management, with benefits including fracture reduction, pain relief, and restoration of disturbed surrounding soft tissues, lowering wound complication and compartment syndrome rates. However, no procedure is without its risks. Here, we present a case of common peroneal palsy following skeletal tibial traction placement, which resolved with subsequent pin removal. Indications, proper placement, potential etiologies, and a review of the literature are also discussed.
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