«Tratamiento quirúrgico de fracturas de tibia en niños: ¿Los clavos intramedulares estables elásticos son mejores que las fijaciones externas?»
Erik N. Kubiak, MD1, Kenneth A. Egol, MD1, David Scher, MD1, Bradley Wasserman, PA1, David Feldman, MD1 and Kenneth J. Koval, MD1 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYUHospital for Joint Diseases, 14th Floor, 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003. E-mail address for K.A. Egol: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Operative treatment of tibial fractures in children requires implants that do not violate open physes while maintaining tibial length and alignment. Both elastic stable intramedullary nails and external fixation can be utilized. We retrospectively reviewed our experience with these two techniques to determine if one is superior to the other. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the operative records and trauma registries of three institutions within our hospital system and identified thirty-five consecutive patients with open physes who had undergone operative treatment of a tibial fracture between April 1997 and June 2004. Four patients were excluded because they had been managed with locked intramedullary nails or with pins and plaster. Of the thirty-one remaining patients, sixteen had been managed with elastic stable intramedullary nails and fifteen had been managed with unilateral external fixation. The clinical and radiographic outcomes were compared. The functional outcomes were compared with use of the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument. Complications related to treatment, such as malunion, delayed union, nonunion, infection, and the need for subsequent surgical treatment also were compared.
Results: Thirty-one patients with thirty-one operatively treated tibial fractures were available for evaluation. Fifteen patients had been managed with external fixation. Seven of these patients had a closed fracture, and eight had an open fracture. There were seven healing complications in this group, including two delayed unions, three nonunions, and two malunions. Sixteen patients had been managed with elastic stable intramedullary nailing. Eleven patients had a closed fracture, and five had an open fracture. The mean time to union for the intramedullary nailing group (seven weeks) was significantly shorter than that for the external fixation group (eighteen weeks) (p < 0.01). The functional outcomes for the intramedullary nailing group were significantly better than those for the external fixation group in the categories of pain, happiness, sports, and global function (the mean of the mean scores of the first four categories) (p < 0.01 for these comparisons).
Conclusions: When surgical stabilization of tibial fractures in children is indicated, we believe that the preferred method of fixation is with elastic stable intramedullary nailing.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American). 2005;87:1761-1768.