Thirty-seven patients who sustained a closed or a Grade-I open tibial and fibular fracture were evaluated an average of twenty-nine years after injury. All of the patients had had uncomplicated treatment with a plaster cast. Clinically, 78 per cent of the ankles were rated good or excellent, and 92 per cent of the knees were rated excellent. Radiographic assessment for osteoarthritic changes revealed a good or excellent result for 76 per cent of the ankles and an excellent result for 92 per cent of the knees. The clinical and radiographic outcomes were unaffected by the amounts of anterior or posterior and of varus or valgus angulation, as well as by the level of the fracture. The length of immobilization, which did not exceed one year, also did not affect the outcomes.
Copyright 1989 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated