Niger J Clin Pract. 2022 Oct;25(10):1693-1698. doi: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_173_22.
BACKGROUND: The optimal treatment for distal tibial fractures remains a matter of debate. Nonetheless, plate osteosynthesis produces favorable results to intramedullary stabilization in aspects of alignment restoration.
AIM: The aim of the study was to compare the radiologic and clinical outcomes of distal metadiaphyseal tibial fracture between a simple/wedge fracture (SWF) and a comminuted fracture (CF) using minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective study analyzed patients with SWF or CF of the distal tibial metadiaphysis that was surgically treated with a locking compression plate. Postoperative radiographic assessments and the time to radiologic union were noted. Clinical assessments were evaluated using both the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot score and the foot function index (FFI). Postoperative complications were documented.
RESULTS: Seventy-one cases were analyzed over a mean follow-up period of 20.9 months. Thirty-six patients had SWF and 35 patients presented with CF. The mean time to radiologic union, amounts of postoperative coronal angulation, and incidence of malunion showed no statistical differences. Fibular fixation was more applied in the CF group (P < 0.001). Moreover, the clinical scores revealed no differences. Nonetheless, in the valgus union group, the AOFAS ankle-hindfoot score was 90.9 compared to 84.1 in the varus union group (P = 0.042) and the FFI was 9.2% compared to 20.2% in the varus union group (P = 0.017).
CONCLUSION: Plate osteosynthesis for SWF or CF of the distal tibial metadiaphysis led to high union rates and good clinical outcomes. There was no significant difference in the radiologic and clinical results according to the presence of fracture comminution. Nonetheless, the valgus union group showed better clinical outcomes than the varus union group. Clinically, it would be preferred to avoid intraoperative varus reduction.