Diaphyseal tibia fractures in the pediatric population have dynamic treatment strategies that depend on injury pattern, mechanism, patient skeletal maturity and size. Treatment strategies include closed reduction and cast immobilization, flexible nails, uniplanar or multiplanar external fixation or plate osteosynthesis. Accepted parameters for sagittal and coronal alignment vary based on age and potential for remodeling, although all fractures should have minimal rotational malalignment and less than 1 cm of shortening. Stable union generally occurs in 3 to 4 weeks for the common toddler's fracture and 6 to 8 weeks in other fracture patterns. Complications such as compartment syndrome are possible with both open and closed injuries, and nonunions, although rare, are more common in patients treated with external fixation or flexible nailing. Overall, treatment should be predicated on a full evaluation of the patient, fracture, local soft tissues, and any concomitant injuries.
From the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Anotonio, TX.
None of the following authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Hogue, Dr. Wilkins, and Dr. Kim.