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Current Issue - March 2023, Volume 17, Issue No. 1

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Distal Tibia Fractures: is the Tibia First Technique a Rational Approach?


Introduction: In this retrospective case-series study we discuss the clinical and radiographic outcomes obtained following the “tibia-first concept” in the treatment of distal tibia fractures, both in patients with fibular comminution and in cases with a simple fibula fracture.

Materials and methods: We analysed a consecutive series of 64 patients who presented at our emergency department with a distal articular tibial and fibular fracture from January 2015 to September 2020. A total of 22 patients met the inclusion and exclusion criteria and were included in the study. Clinical and radiographic examination were performed at each follow-up. To quantify pain and functional disability, the Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society’s ankle-hindfoot scale (AOFAS) were applied.

Results: The overall mean age was 52.8 years, and the mean follow-up was 13.18 months. Multiple scales data from the FAOS were as follows: pain score 80.70; symptoms score 81.69; activities of daily living score 87.22; quality of life 76.05. The mean AOFAS ankle-hindfoot score was 74.36.

Conclusions: Even though the principles of RĂ¼edi and Allgöwer are still valid, in specific circumstances, the tibia-first concept could be considered as a valid option for the treatment of these demanding fractures. If a good reduction is obtained intra-operatively by ligamentotaxis, we recommend fixing the tibia first, avoiding surgical stress on tissues derived from a previous fibular fixation.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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