Treatment of closed tibial fractures.

Andrew H Schmidt, Christopher G. Finkemeier, Paul Tornetta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Closed tibial shaft fractures are common injuries that remain challenging to treat because of the wide spectrum of fracture patterns and soft-tissue injuries. Understanding the indications for surgical and nonsurgical treatment of these fractures is essential for good outcomes. Although cast treatment of stable tibial shaft fractures has traditionally been successful and continues to be widely used, recent clinical studies have shown that intramedullary nails may be more advantageous for fracture healing and function than casting. Surgical treatment (intramedullary nailing, plate fixation, or external fixation) of closed tibial shaft fractures varies depending on multiple factors. Metaphyseal fractures are well suited for plates, although newer intramedullary nail designs provide the option of intramedullary nailing of proximal or distal metaphyseal tibia-fibula fractures. External fixators are well suited for skeletally immature patients with unstable fracture patterns or for patients with unacceptably small intramedullary canals. Interlocking intramedullary nails are the treatment of choice for most unstable tibia-fibula shaft fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-622
Number of pages16
JournalInstructional course lectures
StatePublished - 2003


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