Anatomical characteristics, such as subcutaneous position and minimal muscle cover, contribute to the complexity of fractures of the distal third of the tibia and fibula. Severe damage to soft tissue and instability ensure high risk of delayed bone union and wound complications such as nonunion, infection, and necrosis.Patient concerns:
This case report discusses management in a 54-year-old woman who sustained fractures of the distal third of the left tibia and fibula, with damage to overlying soft tissue (swelling and blisters). Plating is accepted as the first choice for this type of fracture as it ensures accurate reduction and rigid fixation, but it increases the risk of complications.Diagnosis:
Closed fracture of the distal third of the left tibia and fibula (AO: 43-A3).Interventions:
After the swelling was alleviated, the patient underwent closed reduction and fixation with an Acumed fibular nail and minimally invasive plating osteosynthesis (MIPO), ensuring a smaller incision and minimal soft-tissue dissection.Outcomes:
At the 1-year follow-up, the patient had recovered well and had regained satisfactory function in the treated limb. The Kofoed score of the left ankle was 95.Lessons:
Based on the experience from this case, the operation can be undertaken safely when the swelling has been alleviated. The minimal invasive technique represents the best approach. Considering the merits and good outcome in this case, we recommend the Acumed fibular nail and MIPO technique for treatment of distal tibial and fibular fractures.