Osteosynthesis and Trauma Care 2004; 12(2): 47
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-820268

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York


D. Seligson, R. Schnettler
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Publication History

Publication Date:
05 July 2004 (online)


Tibial plateau fractures can be treated with casting, internal fixation and external fixation: each method has associated benefits and risks. We conducted a retrospective review of 40 patients at the University of Louisville Hospital with both open and closed tibial plateau fractures treated with external fixation. Complications were tabulated. In this review, 27.5 % of the patients experienced complications, which included superficial infection, deep infection, non-union, arthrosis, and/or operative modification or readjustment of the frame. We then compared our infection rates, superficial and deep, to established infection rate data for both external fixation and internal fixation. We achieved a lower rate of superficial infection and deep infection than Hutson and Zych's rate for fixators and Blokker et al.'s rate for open reduction internal fixation. Comparison of our combined (deep + superficial) infection rate to Schulak and Gunn's open reduction internal fixation rate provides additional support for external fixation as a satisfactory treatment method. These results support external fixation as at least as good as internal fixation with regard to infection. Lastly, we present a case in which a patient with an open tibial plateau fracture was treated successfully with external fixation without complication.

David Seligson M. D. 

Orthopedic Surgery

University of Louisville

530 South Jackson Street

3rd Floor of ACB Building

Louisville, KY 40202


Phone: +1/5 02-8 52-09 23

Email: Seligson@louisville.edu