Archives of orthopaedic and trauma surgery vol:108 issue:4 pages:238-42
Segmental fractures of the tibial shaft are always caused by a high-energy direct trauma. They are frequently associated with important soft tissue injuries, and the vascularization of the intermediate bone fragment is severely disturbed. The postoperative problems of 40 patients with 41 segmental tibial shaft fractures were reviewed. Twenty-three fractures (56.1%) were treated with a plate osteosynthesis, 18 (43.9%) with an external fixator. Thirty-seven fractures could be followed-up until bony consolidation. Bone-healing problems were seen in 29%, always in the distal fracture. A good functional result could be obtained in 78.4%. The problems of each stabilization method are discussed. The vascularization of the intermediate segment may not be endangered secondarily by the stabilization procedure.