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External fixation devices in the treatment of fractures of the tibial plafond: a systematic review of the literature

Papadokostakis, G.; Kontakis, G.; Giannoudis, P.; Hadjipavlou, A.

Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume 90(1): 1-6

2008


ISSN/ISBN: 0301-620X
PMID: 18160490
DOI: 10.1302/0301-620x.90b1.19858
Accession: 053165006

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We have compared the outcomes of the use of external fixation devices for spanning or sparing the ankle joint in the treatment of fractures of the tibial plafond, focusing on the complications and the rates of healing. We have devised a scoring system for the quality of reporting of clinical outcomes, to determine the reliability of the results. We conducted a search of publications in English between 1990 and 2006 using the Pubmed search engine. The key words used were pilon, pylon, plafond fractures, external fixation. A total of 15 articles, which included 465 fractures, were eligible for final evaluation. There were no statistically significant differences between spanning and sparing fixation systems regarding the rates of infection, nonunion, and the time to union. Patients treated with spanning frames had significantly greater incidence of malunion compared with patients treated with sparing frames. In both groups, the outcome reporting score was very low; 60% of reports involving infection, nonunion or malunion scored 0 points.

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