Fracture healing following high energy tibial trauma: Ilizarov versus Taylor Spatial Frame

Menakaya, C. U.; Rigby, A. S.; Hadland, Y.; Barron, E.; Sharma, H.
February 2014
Bulletin of The Royal College of Surgeons of England;Feb2014, Vol. 96 Issue 2, p106
INTRODUCTION The optimal treatment of high energy tibial fractures remains controversial and a challenging orthopaedic problem. The role of external fixators for all these tibial fractures has been shown to be crucial. METHODS A five-year consecutive series was reviewed retrospectively, identifying two treatment groups: Ilizarov and Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF; Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN, US). Fracture healing time was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS A total of 112 patients (85 Ilizarov, 37 TSF) were identified for the review with a mean age of 45 years. This was higher in women (57 years) than in men (41 years). There was no significant difference between frame types (p=0.83). The median healing time was 163 days in both groups. There was no significant difference in healing time between smokers and non-smokers (180 vs 165 days respectively, p=0.07), open or closed fractures (p=0.13) or age and healing time (Spearman's r=0.12, p=0.18). There was no incidence of non-union or re-fracture following frame removal in either group. CONCLUSIONS Despite the assumption of the rigid construct of the TSF, the median time to union was similar to that of the Ilizarov frame and the TSF therefore can play a significant role in complex tibial fractures.


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