The Use of Pediatric Flexible Intramedullary Nails for Minimally Invasive Fibular Fracture Fixation

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Abstract

Fibular fractures in the setting of an unstable ankle joint require surgical fixation; however, several factors contradict open surgical correction. Severe soft tissue compromise can delay adequate fracture reduction and preclude the standard incisional approach. The soft tissue envelope in the setting of obesity, diabetes, and/or peripheral vascular disease further complicates definitive treatment. Poorly timed open fixation can lead to delayed healing of the incision site, with wound breakdown and the potential for hardware failure. Proximal fibular fractures are also at unique risk of neurovascular compromise with open reduction and internal fixation. Surgical fixation has now focused on minimizing the soft tissue insult using percutaneous techniques in the comorbid patient. We present a case that highlights a minimally invasive technique that provides dynamic stable internal fixation of fibular fractures with the use of flexible pediatric intramedullary nails, typically used in long bone fractures of children.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 4

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