Open reduction and internal fixation of tibial pilon fractures.

K. A. Egol, Philip R Wolinsky, K. J. Koval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Although it is evident that the fracture of the tibial plafond is a complex, often debilitating injury, its management is not clear. These injuries generally fall into one of two categories. The low-energy, rotational type of fracture has been shown to have excellent clinical and functional results with open reduction and internal fixation. The high-energy, compression type of fracture has had uniformly moderate results and historically high complication rates. Some authors think that bridging external fixation with or without limited internal fixation should be employed in high-energy fractures. Others believe that open reduction and internal fixation to avoid articular incongruence and development of axial malalignment is needed for good long-term outcome. The authors believe the latter. Staging the treatment of the patient can minimize development of soft tissue complications. The authors follow the recommendations of Patterson and Sirkin and believe that high-energy pilon fractures should be temporized with an external fixator with or without fibular plating to restore length. Any open would should be addressed at this time. Definitive fixation should be planned for between 10 and 14 days, by which time the soft tissue envelop is likely to be ready to accept the further insult of surgery. The surgical technique should be well planned for and include the use of meticulous soft tissue techniques and indirect reduction methods. With the proper attention to detail, long-term results will be maximized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-885
Number of pages13
JournalFoot and Ankle Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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