When is external fixators indicated for tibial plateau fractures, and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Srinivasa Vidyadhara, MBBS, DNB, MS(Orth), DNB(Orth), FNB(SpineSurg), MNAMS; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Answer

Indications, advantages, and disadvantages of external fixators (half-pin fixator, ring fixator, or hybrid fixator) may be summarized as follows:

  • Indications - Open injuries and high-energy (types IV, V, and VI) fractures with soft-tissue injury; fractures with vascular injury with or without compartment syndrome; polytrauma patients
  • Advantages - Minimal soft-tissue injury
  • Disadvantages - Nonrigid fixation; difficult to achieve anatomic fracture reduction; joint stiffness; pin-tract infections; septic arthritis

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