Introduction: High energy tibial diaphyseal open fractures are a common occurrence in modern times. In a resource strapped country like India, AO unilateral external fixator is a cheap, technically easier method for the definitive management of the same. The aim of the paper is to present the results of the treatment of 33 patients with open tibia fractures, as well as the complications that accompany the treatment of these fractures.
Method: An observational prospective study was undertaken including all open diaphyseal tibia fractures with Gustilo Anderson classification Type II, IIIA, IIIB and Ganga hospital open injury severity score of 6-12. Patients underwent debridement, definitive fixation with exfix, and later Patellar Tendon Bearing Cast after removal. Outcome was measured by the Association for the Study and Application of the Method of Ilizarov Group score.
Results: In 81.8% cases the mechanism of injury was road traffic accident. Mean time for complete weight bearing was 19.33 weeks, mean time for union was 26.18 months. ASAMI Radiological outcome was Excellent in 45.5%, Good in 30.3%, Fair in 9.1% and Poor in 15.2% cases. ASAMI Functional outcome was Excellent in 33.3%, Good in 51.5%, Poor in 15.2% cases. Pin tract infection was found in 39.4% and malunion in 24.2%. The mean time for union (p=0.0004), incidence of non-union (p=0.014) was found to be statistically significant to the severity of initial injury.
Conclusion: Thus by this study it can be expressed that external fixator is a feasible implant in the definitive management of open tibia fractures.