Distal tibial fractures with soft tissue damage are relatively difficult to treat. We assessed the outcomes of patients with these fractures treated with the Expert Tibial Nail® (DePuy Synthes, Raynham, MA) from March 2012 to December 2014. At 6 months postoperatively, the general health quality of patients was assessed using operative time, interval to return to work, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle scale score, pain measured using a visual analog scale, and short-form health outcomes 36-item survey physical functioning and mental health dimension scores. Of 11 cases, 7 (63.6%) were open fractures (3 [27.3%] Gustilo-Anderson type II, 3 [27.3%] type IIIA, and 1 [9.1%] type IIIB) and 4 (36.4%) were closed fractures with Tscherne-Oestern type II tissue damage. Their mean age was 52.2 (range 28 to 66) years. The mean operative time was 83 (range 65 to 105) minutes. The mean follow-up period was 16.3 (range 14 to 18) months. The median short-form 36-item survey scores were 79.1 (range 68.9 to 89.0) for the physical function dimension and 77.0 (range 64.3 to 90.0) for the mental health dimension. The mean postoperative ankle score was 88.6 (range 84 to 94). The mean pain score was 1.6 (range 0 to 4) mm. The mean interval to return to work was 14 (range 11 to 17) months. No patient showed evidence of neurovascular damage, malunion, nonunion, or shortening of the tibia. Taken together, we have confirmed that Expert Tibial Nails can effectively treat distal tibial fractures with soft tissue damage.
Level of Clinical Evidence
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Published online: September 07, 2017
Financial Disclosure: None reported.
Conflict of Interest: None reported.
© 2017 by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. All rights reserved.