Annual Report

Executive Editor: Peter Trafton

Authors: Raymond White, Matthew Camuso

Tibial shaft Simple fracture, oblique - ORIF - Compression plate with lag screw

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Glossary

Postoperative care

Perioperative antibiotics may be discontinued before 24-48 hours.

After surgery, the patient’s leg should be slightly elevated, with the leg placed on a pillow, 4 cm above the level of the heart.
Attention is given to:

  • Pain control
  • Mobilization without early weight bearing
  • Leg elevation when not walking
  • Thromboembolic prophylaxis
  • Early recognition of complications

Soft-tissue protection

A brief period of splintage may be beneficial for protection of the soft tissues, but should last no longer than 1-2 weeks. Thereafter, mobilization of the ankle and subtalar joints should be encouraged.

Mobilization

Active and assisted motion of all joints (hip, knee, ankle, toes) may begin as soon as the patient is comfortable. Attempt to preserve passive dorsiflexion range of motion.

Weight bearing

Limited weight-bearing (15 kg maximum), with crutches, may begin as tolerated, but full weight bearing should be avoided until fracture healing is more advanced (10-12 weeks).

Follow up

Follow-up is recommended after 2, 6 and 12 weeks, and every 6-12 weeks thereafter until radiographic healing and function are established. Depending on the consolidation, weight bearing can be increased after 6-8 weeks with full weight bearing when the fracture has healed by x-ray.

Implant removal
Implant removal may be necessary in cases of soft-tissue irritation by the implants. The best time for implant removal is after complete bone remodeling, usually at least 24 months after surgery. This is to reduce the risk of refracture.

v2.0 2012-05-13