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In cases where it is not possible to proceed to early definitive osteosynthesis (polytrauma, soft-tissue problems, patient condition, limited resources), a spanning external fixator is often used. A long leg splint can also be applied.

Temporary, proximal tibial, skeletal traction is reserved for those cases in which it is not possible to place a spanning external fixator, or use a long leg splint.

Care should be taken to protect pressure points on the skin.