Archives of orthopaedic and traumatic surgery. Archiv für orthopädische und Unfall-Chirurgie vol:105 issue:3 pages:170-4
The operative results in 65 patients with 66 tibial shaft fractures and severe soft tissue injuries, stabilized by an external fixation frame according to Hoffmann or Vidal-Adrey, are reviewed and the treatment principles are discussed. Four patients required secondary amputations. Fifty-three patients could be followed up for an average of 23.2 months. The infection rate was 9.2% and nonunion was found in 11.1% of cases. Two patients had a refracture after removal of the fixation device. Twenty-three patients (42.6%) required one or more secondary operations. Of the 65 patients, 70.4% had very good or good end results, 16.7% acceptable, and 12.9% poor. External fixation according to Hoffmann or Vidal-Adrey affords excellent definitive stabilization in simple fractures of the lower leg with soft tissue injuries. In comminuted fractures of the lower leg with loss of bone fragments and severe tissue damage, external fixation is better used as a means of temporary stabilization until soft tissues permit definitive rigid stabilization.