02.01.2021 | Original Article
Intraoperative torsion control using the cortical step sign and diameter difference in tibial mid-shaft fractures
Alexander M. Keppler, Konstantin Küssner, Eduardo M. Suero, Veronika Kronseder, Wolfgang Böcker, Christian Kammerlander, Christian Zeckey, C. Neuerburg
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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Intramedullar nailing of tibial mid-shaft fractures is a common surgical treatment. Fracture reduction, however, remains challenging and maltorsion is a common discrepancy which aggravates functional impairment of gait and stability. The use of radiographic tools such as the cortical step sign (CSS) and the diameter difference sign (DDS) could improve fracture reduction. Therefore, the validity of the CSS and DDS was analyzed to facilitate detection of maltorsion in tibial mid-shaft fractures.
Tibial mid-shaft fractures were induced in human cadaveric tibiae according to the AO classification type A3. Torsional discrepancies from 0° to 30° in-/external direction were enforced after intramedullary nailing. Fluoroscopic-guided fracture reduction was assessed in two planes via analysis of the medical cortical thickness (MCT), lateral cortical thickness (LCT), tibial diameter (TD), anterior cortical thickness (ACT), posterior cortical thickness (PCT) and the transverse diameter (TD) of the proximal and distal fracture fragment.
The TD, LCT and ACT have shown a highly significant correlation to predict tibial maltorsion. While a model combining ACT, LCT, PCT and TD lateral was most suitable model to identify tibial maltorsion, a torsional discrepancy of 15°was most reliably detected with use of the TD and ACT.
The present study has shown, that maltorsion can be reliably assessed by the CSS and DDS during fluoroscopy. Thus, torsional discrepancies in tibial mid-shaft fractures can be most reliably assessed in the lateral plane by analysis of the LCT and TD.