Limb salvage and amputation in Type 3C tibial fractures

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2013;47(1):19-26. doi: 10.3944/aott.2013.2823.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of limb salvage and primary amputation treatments in patients with Type 3C tibia fractures and compare with normative population data.

Methods: Limb salvage was performed in 20 patients and primary amputation in 14 patients with Type 3C tibia fractures between 1993 and 2009. Mean follow-up period was 5.3 years. Treatment times, complications, number of operations and return-to-work status of groups were compared. The Short Form-36 (SF-36) was used to assess quality of life and domains were compared among the patient groups and normative data.

Results: Limb salvage patients had longer treatment periods with more operations and complications than the primary amputation group. Return-to-work percentage was 59% in the limb salvage group and 71% in the amputation group. There was no statistical difference in all SF-36 domains for limb salvage and primary amputation patients. Physical functioning, social functioning, limitation due to emotional problems and pain were statistically lower in all patients than in the general population.

Conclusion: Type 3C tibia fractures treated with both limb salvage and primary amputation have negative effects on quality of life. Patients should be informed about limited functional capacity, pain complications and problems with return-to-work at the end of treatment. In addition, high rates of limb salvage can be achieved with proper conditions in suitable patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amputation, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Limb Salvage* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tibial Fractures / pathology
  • Tibial Fractures / surgery*
  • Young Adult