37.8% of tibia fractures occur in the distal tibial region. Due to the poor soft tissue envelope and precarious blood supply in the distal tibial region, there is a very high incidence of complications like non-union, delayed union and wound dehiscence, with increased secondary procedure rate especially after implant failure. Literature review shows that there is no optimal treatment (implant) for the management of these fractures. Nailing provides lesser chances of wound dehiscence but fails in providing adequate stability. Compression plating provides increased complication due to bulky implants causing wound dehiscence. Some of it is offset by locking compression plate. Hence we decided to study which implant would be ideal to treat these fractures with the best functional outcome and low incidence of complications.
This was a prospective study of 72 patients who had unilateral, displaced fracture of distal tibia. 41 patients where managed with intra-medullary interlocking nailing and 31 patients were managed with locking compression plate osteosynthesis.
The incidence of complications was found to be higher in nailing when compared to that of plating. 2 of patients developed non-union in nailing. 4 of patients developed implant failure and required secondary procedures in nailing group when compared to 1in LCP group which was attributable to poor biomechanical construct.
25 age matched pairs of patients were selected from each group and were assessed with the help of modified Klemm and Borner scoring system. Based on this scoring system the results were analyzed for the study group. Patients in the locking compression plate osteosynthesis group yielded scores that were significantly higher than the nailing group and were found to be statistically significant with a p value of < 0.05. 76% had excellent results, 16% had good results and 4% had fair results in the plating group when compared to 24% excellent results, 40% good results, 20% fair results and 16% poor results in the nailing group.
The results of current study show statistically advantageous for locking compression plate osteosynthesis when compared to close intramedullary interlocking nailing for distal third of tibia fractures. With decreased incidence of complications &secondary procedure in LCP group. Particularly in MIPPO with LCP group did much better as no secondary procedures were required. A multicentric study with large population is necessary to confirm this.