Accelerated tibial fracture union in the third trimester of pregnancy: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2008 Feb 9;2:44. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-44.


Introduction: We present a case of accelerated tibial fracture union in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is of particular relevance to orthopaedic surgeons, who must be made aware of the potentially accelerated healing response in pregnancy and the requirement for prompt treatment.

Case presentation: A 40 year old woman at 34 weeks gestational age sustained a displaced fracture of the tibial shaft. This was initially treated conservatively in plaster with view to intra-medullary nailing postpartum. Following an emergency caesarean section, the patient was able to fully weight bear without pain 4 weeks post injury, indicating clinical union. Radiographs demonstrated radiological union with good alignment and abundant callus formation. Fracture union occurred within 4 weeks, less than half the time expected for a conservatively treated tibial shaft fracture.

Conclusion: Long bone fractures in pregnancy require clear and precise management plans as fracture healing is potentially accelerated. Non-operative treatment is advisable provided satisfactory alignment of the fracture is achieved.