LEG AND FOOTEarly weight bearing after complete tibial shaft fractures in childrenJenkins, Mark D.a; Jones, Dina L.b; Billings, Anthony A.c; Ackerman, Elizabeth S.f; France, John C.d; Jones, Eric T.eAuthor Information aDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas Departments of bOrthopaedics and Division of Physical Therapy cStatistics dOrthopaedics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia eChildren's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, USA fDepartment of Orthopaedics, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Correspondence to Eric T. Jones, MD, PhD, Children's Hospital of Michigan, 3901 Beaubien Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48201-2119, USA Tel: + 1 313 745 5581; fax: + 1 313 745 5742; e-mail: [email protected] Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics B: November 2009 - Volume 18 - Issue 6 - p 341-346 doi: 10.1097/BPB.0b013e32832f5aa6 Buy Metrics Abstract This study determined the prevalence of complications related to early weight bearing and the factors associated with time to healing in children after a complete tibial shaft fracture. Radiographs and medical records were reviewed from patients with unilateral, closed, complete tibial shaft fractures who were treated nonoperatively with a long leg cast. There were 55 males (68.8%) and 25 females (31.2%) with a mean±SD age of 6.0±4.0 years (range 1–16). There were few complications (2.5%) and patients healed faster if they bore weight earlier (0.3 days faster for each day earlier to weight bearing, P=0.02), were younger (2.3 days faster per year younger, P<0.001), were female (2.7 days faster than males, P=0.02), or did not have a closed reduction (3.8 days faster, P=0.002) (R2=0.63). Time to weight bearing after complete tibial shaft fracture was not associated with an increased risk of complications. Earlier weight bearing was associated with a shorter time to healing. This study provides support for treatment with early weight bearing in children with closed, complete tibial shaft fractures. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.