Damage Control Plating in Open Tibial Shaft Fractures: A Cheaper and Equally Effective Alternative to Spanning External Fixation


The purpose of this study was to evaluate damage control plating (DCP) as an alternative to external fixation (EF) in the provisional stabilization of open tibial shaft fractures. Through retrospective analysis, the study found 445 patients who underwent operative fixation for tibial shaft fractures from 2008 to 2012. Twenty patients received DCP or EF before intramedullary nailing with a minimum follow-up of 3 months. Charts and radiographs were reviewed for postoperative complications. Hospital charges were reviewed for implant costs. Nine patients (45%) with DCP and 11 patients (55%) with EF were analyzed. There was no significant difference in the complication rates. The mean implant cost of DCP was $1028, whereas mean EF construct cost was $4204. Therefore, DCP resulted in significant cost savings with no difference in complication rates, making it a valuable alternative to EF for the provisional stabilization of open tibial shaft fractures. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 26(2):86–93, 2017) Key words: damage control plating, external fixation, open tibia fracture

SKU: JSOA-2017-26-2-S4 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Paul S. Whiting, MD; Phillip M. Mitchell, MD; Aaron M. Perdue, MD; Arnold J. Silverberg, BS; Sarah E. Greenberg, BA; Rachel V. Thakore, BS; Vasanth Sathiyakumar, BA; Hassan R. Mir, MD, MBA;
William T. Obremskey, MD, MMHC, MPH; and Manish K. Sethi, MD