Percutaneous plating of distal tibial fractures

Amal Khoury, Meir Liebergall, Eli London, Rami Mosheiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents our experience with 24 patients who had distal tibial fractures and were treated by percutaneous plate fixation. Distribution of the fractures according to the AO/OTA classification was as follows: five patients suffered from a 43 A type fracture, six from a 43 B type fracture, and 13 from a 43 C type fractures. Four of the fractures were open. Exclusion criteria included 43 C3 fractures and Gustilo III open fractures. All fractures showed radiographic signs of union enough to enable full weightbearing within an average time of 12.3 weeks. All patients showed a good range of motion (average dorsiflexion 12° and average plantiflexion 18°. Two fractures united with mal-union: one with an 8° valgus deformity and another with a 7° varus deformity. Both cases, which had a metaphyseal component, were treated by means of a "soft" (flexible and manually adjustable) AO 3.5 mm reconstruction plate. Except for one case of superficial infection, no infections were detected in any of the patients. The biological percutaneous plate fixation of distal tibial fractures with no extensive intra-articular involvement is a good soft tissue preserving technique. It provides a rigid and anatomical fixation in most cases. We conclude that type B fractures with one intact column can be fixed with either "soft" or "rigid" plates, and type A and C fractures with a metaphyseal component should be fixed with "rigid" plates (AO 4.5 mm Dynamic Compression Plate). In these fractures the reduction should be performed cautiously due to the tendency of sagittal plane mal-reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-824
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological Fixation
  • Distal Tibial Fractures
  • Percutaneous Plating


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