Soft tissue management of closed tibial pilon fractures

John S. Early*, Shay Tenenbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The management of closed intra-articular pilon fractures has a history of significant postoperative soft tissue complications when managed with open reduction and internal fixation. The classically described early open reduction of the tibia using an anterior approach was found to have an unacceptably high complication rate. It was observed that significant pilon fractures actually involved 2 injury paradigms: one involving bone and the other involving the soft tissue envelope. This led to significant changes in the protocol for managing closed pilon fractures effectively reducing the complication rates involving both soft tissue and bone. Recognition of the soft tissue trauma led to the staging of pilon fractures to allow time for soft tissue recovery from the initial trauma. Recognition of the diversity of the bony injury through the use of computed tomography scans has led to a variety of described approaches that allow the surgeon to choose how best to manage the fracture pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
JournalTechniques in Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Pilon fracture
  • Soft tissue management
  • Surgical approaches


Dive into the research topics of 'Soft tissue management of closed tibial pilon fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this