A Prospective Randomized Study on Operative Treatment for Simple Distal Tibial Fractures—Minimally Invasive Plate Osteosynthesis Versus Minimal Open Reduction and Internal Fixation

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To compare the radiologic and clinical results of minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) and minimal open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) for simple distal tibial fractures.


Randomized prospective study.


Three level 1 trauma centers.


Fifty-eight patients with simple and distal tibial fractures were randomized into a MIPO group (treatment with MIPO; n = 29) or a minimal group (treatment with minimal ORIF; n = 29). These numbers were designed to define the rate of soft tissue complication; therefore, validation of superiority in union time or determination of differences in rates of delayed union was limited in this study.


Simple distal tibial fractures treated with MIPO or minimal ORIF.

Main Outcome Measurements:

The clinical outcome measurements included operative time, radiation exposure time, and soft tissue complications. To evaluate a patient's function, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle score (AOFAS) was used. Radiologic measurements included fracture alignment, delayed union, and union time.


All patients acquired bone union without any secondary intervention. The mean union time was 17.4 weeks and 16.3 weeks in the MIPO and minimal groups, respectively. There was 1 case of delayed union and 1 case of superficial infection in each group. The radiation exposure time was shorter in the minimal group than in the MIPO group. Coronal angulation showed a difference between both groups. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle scores were 86.0 and 86.7 in the MIPO and minimal groups, respectively. Minimal ORIF resulted in similar outcomes, with no increased rate of soft tissue problems compared to MIPO.


Both MIPO and minimal ORIF have high union rates and good functional outcomes for simple distal tibial fractures. Minimal ORIF did not result in increased rates of infection and wound dehiscence.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles