Update on the management of open fractures of the tibial shaft

David C. Templeman, Benjamin Gulli, Dean T. Tsukayama, Ramon B. Gustilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


A retrospective study of 133 open tibiaL fractures in 129 patients treated at the Hennepin County Medical Center between 1986 and 1993 was done. The results of the treatment protocol in this patient group is presented and the current classification schemes, prevention of infection, debridement, antibiotics, soft tissue reconstruction, fracture stabilization methods, bone grafting, and exchange nailing are discussed. Recent studies that have documented interobserver disagreement in the classification of open fractures underscore the difficulties encountered in the initial assessment and treatment of open tibial shaft fractures. Despite repetitive and aggressive debridement, a certain number of fractures will remain contaminated and become infected. Infection after these severe injuries is probably multifactorial, and its prevention requires that the surgeon diligently adhere to the imperatives of open fracture care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


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