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20.10.2018 | Foot and Ankle Trauma (G Moloney, section editor) | Ausgabe 4/2018

Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine 4/2018

Evolution in Management of Tibial Pilon Fractures

Zeitschrift:
Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine > Ausgabe 4/2018
Autoren:
Jessica Bear, Natalie Rollick, David Helfet
Wichtige Hinweise
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Foot and Ankle Trauma

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Tibial plafond, or pilon, fractures can be some of the most difficult fractures to manage. As they are often associated with high-energy trauma, both the soft tissue involvement and the comminuted fracture pattern pose challenges to fixation. Furthermore, the complex anatomy and trauma to the cartilage at the time of injury predispose pilon fractures to poor functional outcomes and high rates of posttraumatic arthritis. This review will discuss the recent developments in the treatment of tibial pilon fractures.

Recent Findings

Historically, surgical management of pilon fractures has been associated with high rates of complications, including wound complications, infections, nonunions, and even the need for amputation. In response, staged protocols were created. However, recent studies have called this into question, demonstrating low wound complications with early definitive fixation. Additional studies are evaluating adjuvants to minimize wound complications, including the use of vancomycin powder and oxygen supplementation, while another study challenges the 7-cm myth regarding the distance needed between skin incisions. Additional research has been focused on alternative methods of managing these complex, and sometimes non-reconstructable, injuries with the use of external fixation, minimally invasive internal fixation, and primary arthrodesis.

Summary

Tibial pilon fractures remain difficult to treat for even the most skilled orthopedic trauma surgeons. With improvements in surgical techniques and implants, complication rates have declined and outcomes have improved; however, the overall prognosis for these injuries often remains poor.

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