From August 1980 through May 1984, 102 adult pedestrian patients with 130 tibial fractures were admitted to the Shock Trauma Center of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. We reviewed their records for admission status, procedures performed, and results: 32 patients who died, underwent primary amputation, or were lost to followup were excluded, leaving 70 patients with 86 tibial fractures as the base study group. We grouped the data by year of admission and analyzed it in terms of the effects of changes in the treatment protocol on results, specifically the time to union. For the first year, the existing treatment protocol included: antibiotics, debridement and irrigation with a bulb syringe, stabilization according to wound size and surgeon preference, split-thickness skin graft, and bone grafting in response to delayed or nonunion. The average time to union for Grade III fractures was 58.39 weeks; average time overall was 53.95 weeks. In the fourth year, the altered treatment protocol included: antibiotics, debridement and jet lavage, scheduled rebridement, external fixation for open fractures, judicious use of open reduction/internal fixation for closed fractures, early free flap soft-tissue coverage, and early bone grafting by history and fracture pattern. The average time to union for Grade III fractures was 37.65 weeks; average time overall was 34.46 weeks. From the first to the fourth year, time to union for Grade III fractures decreased by 64.5% and time to union overall decreased by 63.9%. We feel the decrease is a direct result of early bone grafting, the fixator construct used, and judicious use of open reduction/internal fixation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care|
|State||Published - Jun 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine