Randomized, Prospective Comparison of Plate versus Intramedullary Nail Fixation for Distal Tibia Shaft Fractures

Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, 11/17/2011

High primary union rates were noted after surgical treatment of distal tibia shaft fractures with both nonlocked plates and reamed intramedullary nails. Rates of infection, nonunion, and secondary procedures were similar. Open fractures had higher rates of infection, nonunion, and malunion. Intramedullary nailing was associated with more malalignment versus plating. Fibula fixation may facilitate reduction of the tibia at the time of surgery. The effect of fibula fixation on tibia healing deserves further study. Economic assessment and functional outcomes data for this population will help to enhance our treatment decision–making.

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