A study of comparison of functional outcome of medial versus anterolateral plating of distal tibia fractures


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Karthik G, Senthilnathan A, Balamurugavel P.S., Prabhakar R, Viswanathan M

Background: The treatment of distal tibia fractures is complex involving multiple factors which include the associated soft tissue injury, involvement of the articular surface, the selection of optimal implants, timing of the surgery, associated medical co-morbidities like diabetes and a watchful immediate post operative management.

Methods: 24 patients with distal tibia fractures were included in our study at Rajah Muthiah medical college & Hospital, Chidambaram of which 12 were operated with distal tibial medial locking compression plates and the remaining with distal tibial anterolateral locking compression plates.

Results: All distal tibia fractures were extra articular based on the inclusion criteria. Two patients had infection immediate post op which settled with antibiotic coverage and wound dressing. Three patients had delayed wound healing due to superficial skin necrosis. Two patients had malunion with implant in situ. The mean value of the Karlstrom-Olerud score in the medial plating group was 30.08 whereas in the anterolateral plating group was 29.08. The mean period of union of fracture post surgery was 9.8 weeks.

Conclusion: No significant statistical differences were found between the 2 approaches and plates regarding the clinical and radiographic results. The onset of complications appeared to depend more on the injury itself than on the type of approach employed to manage the fractures.

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