Is the Addition of a Foot Ring to the Circular External Fixator Necessary in the Treatment of Extra-Articular Distal Tibia Fractures?


Erdil M., Ozkunt O., Polat G., Ceylan H. H., Ersen A., KARA D., ...More

JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC TRAUMA, no.9, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of adding foot ring to circular external fixator (CEF) on the functional outcomes in the treatment of extra-articular distal tibia fractures. Design: Retrospective comparative study. Setting: Level III. Patients and Methods: Fifty-six patients [CEF: 32 patients with an average follow-up of 65.03 months; circular external fixator with a foot ring (CEF-FR): 24 patients with an average follow-up of 93.04 months] who received treatment between December 1995 and September 2012 were retrospectively evaluated. Intervention: We included the patients with extra-articular distal tibia fractures who were treated with CEF with or without foot ring. Main Outcome Measurements: At the final follow-up visit, we evaluated our patients for AOFAS (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society) score, ankle dorsiflexion, ankle plantar flexion, inversion, eversion, and muscle strength. Results: There were no statistical differences in the age, sex, and follow-up period of the 2 groups. The mean overall AOFAS score was 77.78 (47-100), and the mean AOFAS scores for the CEF-FR and CEF groups were 71.54 (47-88) and 82.47 (52-100), respectively. Significantly better results were observed in the CEF group (P = 0.03). The mean overall visual analog scale (VAS) score was 1.89 (0-4), and the visual analog scale (VAS) scores for the CEF-FR and CEF groups were 1.96 (0-4) and 1.72 (0-3), respectively. This difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.236). Conclusion: We conclude that CEF without the addition of a foot ring may result in better functional outcomes in the treatment of extra-articular distal tibia fractures.