Open tibial fracture with severe soft tissue injury and bone loss managed with ipsilateral fibular transport and its complications: a case report

John Mukhopadhaya, Arvind Gupta, Amit K. Sinha


Massive segmental bone defects of tibia present as a challenging task to manage specially when associated with extensive soft tissue injury. A 30 year old male presented to Paras HMRI hospital, Patna, post road traffic accident with Gustilo Anderson 3B comminuted open tibia shaft fracture and with an external fixator in situ with a grossly inflamed and infected wound. Initially patient was managed with serial wound debridement and skin grafting was done early to obtain adequate soft tissue coverage. The patient then underwent application of Ilizarov external fixator with plan of one level fibular osteotomy for ipsilateral fibular transport. With good outcome of the procedure clinically and radiologically, Ilizarov fixator was removed after time duration of about 1.3 years and limb was immobilized in plaster of Paris (POP) cast which was removed after 8 weeks. Within 1 month of removal of POP cast the patient presented to hospital again with complaints of pain and instability when his leg was run over by his child’s bicycle while playing. Diagnosed as fracture of proximal (transported) fibula he was managed then with locking plates; one of which was used as an internal fixator and the other as external fixator which was outside the body and acted as a support to the operated limb. After about 1 year the external locking plate was removed and patient was able to bear weight on his extremities. Despite various modalities to treat massive tibial gap, fibular transport procedure with Ilizarov external fixator seems to be the most viable option.


Open tibial fracture, Ipsilateral fibular transport, Ilizarov external fixator

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