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- Author or Editor: Mehmet Erdil x
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The treatment of pilon tibia fractures is challenging. Anatomical reduction of the joint surface is essential. Excessive soft-tissue dissection may interfere with the blood supply and can result in nonunion. We sought to compare the outcomes of distal tibia fractures treated with medial locking plates versus circular external fixators.
We retrospectively evaluated 41 consecutive patients with closed pilon tibia fractures treated with either minimally invasive locking plate osteosynthesis (n = 21) or external fixation (EF) (n = 20). According to the Ruedi and Allgower classification, 23 fractures were type B and 18 were type C. Soft-tissue injury was evaluated according to the Oestern and Tscherne classification. Time to fracture union, complications, and functional outcomes were assessed annually for 3 years with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle score.
Mean ± SD values in the plate group were as follows: age, 42.4 ± 14 years; union time, 19.4 ± 2.89 weeks (range, 12–26 weeks); and AOFAS ankle scores, 86.4 ± 2.06, 79.5 ± 1.03, and 77.9 ± 0.80 at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. Four patients in the plate group needed secondary bone grafting during follow-up. In the EF group (mean ± SD age, 40.7 ± 12.3 years), all of the patients achieved union without secondary bone grafting at a mean ± SD of 22.1 ± 1.7 weeks (range, 18–24 weeks). In the EF group, mean ± SD AOFAS ankle scores were 86.6 ± 1.69, 82.1 ± 0.77, and 79.7 ± 1.06 at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. There were no major complications. However, there were soft-tissue infections over the medial malleolus in five patients in the plate group and grade 1-2 pin-tract infections in 13 patients and grade 3 pin-tract infections in one patient in the EF group. Post-traumatic arthritis was detected in eight plate group patients and seven EF group patients.
Minimally invasive plating and circular EF methods have favorable union rates with fewer complications.
Freiberg’s infraction is an osteochondrosis that is characterized by osteonecrosis of the metatarsal head, with pain and tenderness around the metatarsophalangeal joint. We sought to evaluate the outcome of joint debridement and metatarsal remodeling for the treatment of advanced-stage Freiberg’s infraction.
Between March 1, 2006, and April 30, 2011, 14 patients (eight females and six males) with symptomatic unilateral Freiberg’s disease refractory to conservative treatment (Smillie stages IV and V) underwent joint debridement with metatarsal head remodeling by two surgeons. To evaluate functional outcome, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey forms were completed by the patients preoperatively and postoperatively at months 3, 6, and 12. Active-assisted range-of-motion exercise was allowed after 4 weeks of short-leg walking cast wear, and weightbearing on the forefoot was allowed as tolerated.
Mean patient age was 27.0 years (range, 16–53 years), and mean follow-up was 40.2 months (range, 14–54 months). Mean ± SD American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey scores were 46.8 ± 8.95 and 28.9 ± 4.3 preoperatively and 76.2 ± 9.5 and 45.6 ± 7.7 1 year after surgery, respectively. There was a significant increase in both scores (P ≤ .001).
In advanced-stage Freiberg’s infraction of the second metatarsal, joint debridement and metatarsal head remodeling is a safe and simple therapeutic option, and it provides better quality of life for patients. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(3): 185–190, 2013)