The management of complications associated with tibial fractures.

David C. Templeman, Jeffrey O. Anglen, Andrew H. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Tibial fractures are common and frequently require surgical stabilization. These two factors mean that complications when treating this difficult injury are to be expected. The objectives in the treatment of open tibial shaft fractures are to prevent sepsis, achieve union, and restore function of the limb. However, these goals are often compromised by infection, compartment syndromes, and bone loss associated with many tibial shaft fractures. Recent studies provide a better understanding of the factors involved in the initial care of patients with open tibial fractures and have challenged prior dogmas and practices. An example is studies that define the relationship between the time to débridement of open fractures and subsequent infection. The diagnosis of compartment syndromes continues to be challenging. Careful review of clinical criteria will assist physicians in the early recognition and the management of compartment syndromes. Despite uncomplicated initial care, infections will occur. However, improved knowledge in the basic science of infections, specifically infections about orthopaedic implants, has led to the development of protocols for treatment and obtaining union. Bone loss, a result of either infection or trauma, is one of the most difficult complications to manage. Research regarding bone morphogenesis and the synthesis of multiple compounds has created new options for treating tibial fractures with bone loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalInstructional course lectures
StatePublished - 2009


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