The Use of Combination Internal Fixation and Hybrid External Fixation in Severe Proximal Tibia Fractures

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SummaryForty-eight patients with 50 severe fractures of the proximal tibia were followed prospectively for 2–4 years (mean 2.7 years) to evaluate the use of limited internal fixation combined with external fixation in the treatment of these injuries. There were 27 men and 21 women ranging in age from 20 to 74 years. Fractures were classified according to the AO system (Mast J, Ganz R, Jacob R: Planning and reduction technique in fracture surgery. Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 1989), which included 5 A3, 6 Cl, 16 C2, and 23 C3 fractures. All patients in this series healed; 48 fractures healed in an average of 12 weeks without subsequent surgery. There were two (4%) nonunions requiring bone graft. The average hospital special surgery knee score was 90 (68–100). Grading criteria for anatomical outcome revealed there were 17 (34%) excellent results, 24 (48%) good results, 6 (12%) fair results, and 3 (6%) poor results. In conclusion, this treatment method is associated with a high percentage of good and excellent results. Combined internal and external fixation combines the advantages of anatomic, stable fixation with less soft-tissue dissection and eliminates the need for large implants.

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