Clinical, radiographic and pedobarographic analysis of skeletally immature patients with surgically treated distal metaphyseal fractures of the tibia: is concomitant fixation of the fibula necessary?

Research paper by Wentao W Wang, Federico F Canavese, Ran R Lin, Yuancheng Y Pan, Dianhua D Huang, Zhu Z Xiong, Shunyou S Chen

Indexed on: 29 Oct '19Published on: 28 Oct '19Published in: Journal of pediatric orthopedics. Part B


This study evaluated the outcomes of distal tibia metaphyseal fractures (DTMFs) managed surgically and compared the outcomes of patients with and without associated fibula fracture fixation. Thirty-two consecutive patients (14 males; mean age at the time of injury: 7.8 years) with closed displaced DTMFs, with (22 patients; group A) or without associated fibula fractures fixation (10 patients; group B), were included. Besides standard radiographic measurements, the following static and dynamic pedobarographic parameters were evaluated: foot total static plantar pressure percentage (PP%), static plantar pressure percentage of the forefoot (PP%) and of the rear foot (PP%), landing sequence of the metatarsals during contact with the ground (MT), and impulse percentage of the metatarsal heads (MT%) and the medial and lateral heel (MH% and LH%). All patients were followed for at least 2 years (range: 2-4.5 years). Functional outcomes were excellent to good in all but two patients (93.8%) at the last follow-up visit using the Johner-Wruths criteria' instead. Radiographic measurements, PP%, PP%, PP%, MT%, MH% and LH% were not significantly different between two groups as well as between injured and uninjured side of patients within the same group (P > 0.05). Abnormal MT sequence was found in 40.9% of group A (9/22) and in 40% of group B patients (4/10) (P > 0.05). Stabilization of associated fibula fractures did not significantly impact the clinical, radiographic and pedobarographic outcomes of the children with displaced DTMFs who were surgically treated. Level of evidence: Level III.