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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-124

Bicondylar tibial fractures: Internal or external fixation?

Department of Orthopedics and Trauma, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool, L7 8XP, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Badri Narayan
Department of Orthopedics, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool, L7 8XP
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.77130

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Bicondylar fractures of the tibia, representing the Schatzker V and VI fractures represent a challenging problem. Any treatment protocol should aim at restoring articular congruity and the metaphyseo-diaphsyeal dissociation (MDD)-both of these are equally important to long-term outcome. Both internal and external fixations have their proponents, and each method of treatment is associated with its unique features and complications. We review the initial and definitive management of these injuries, and the advantages and disadvantages of each method of definitive fixation. We suggest the use of a protocol for definitive management, using either internal or external fixation as deemed appropriate. This protocol is based on the fracture configuration, local soft tissue status and patient condition. In a nutshell, if the fracture pattern and soft tissue status are amenable plate fixation (single or double) is performed, otherwise limited open reduction and articular surface reconstruction with screws and circular frame is performed.

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