Ipsilateral tibia and ankle fractures

J Orthop Trauma. 1993;7(2):130-7. doi: 10.1097/00005131-199304000-00005.


This study reports on 18 cases of diaphyseal fractures of the tibia associated with ipsilateral but not contiguous ankle fractures. Thirteen of these complex fractures resulted from low-energy torsional forces, while five were caused by high-energy impact. Definitive treatment consisted solely of cast immobilization in four; 14 had operative stabilization of each fracture component. Of these 14, four patients were treated initially in long leg casts and one in a plaster splint, but each required surgical intervention to control fracture alignment. The average follow-up time was 21.2 months. In the nonoperative group of four patients, clinically significant shortening and/or rotational deformity were noted in three limbs, with ankle mobility decreased by > 50% and advanced posttraumatic arthritis evident in two ankles. Of the cases managed operatively, 10 (71%) had full structural and functional recovery, three patients regained only 75% of ankle mobility, and two patients developed slight valgus deformities, one with a concomitant rotational deformity of less than 10 degrees. These findings demonstrate the unstable nature of this complex fracture pattern and the advantages of operative management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / complications*
  • Ankle Injuries / physiopathology
  • Ankle Injuries / surgery
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology
  • Casts, Surgical
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Fractures, Bone / complications*
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Tibial Fractures / complications*
  • Tibial Fractures / physiopathology
  • Tibial Fractures / surgery
  • Tibial Fractures / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome