Open tibia shaft fractures and soft-tissue coverage: The effects of management by an orthopaedic microsurgical team

James Vandenberg, Daniel Osei, Martin I. Boyer, Michael J. Gardner, William M. Ricci, Amanda Spraggs-Hughes, Christopher M. McAndrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To compare the timing of soft-tissue (flap) coverage and occurrence of complications before and after the establishment of an integrated orthopaedic trauma/microsurgical team. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: A single level 1 trauma center. Patients: Twenty-eight subjects (13 pre- and 15 post-integration) with open tibia shaft fractures (OTA/AO 42A, 42B, and 42C) treated with flap coverage between January 2009 and March 2015. Intervention: Flap coverage for open tibia shaft fractures treated before ("preintegration") and after ("postintegration") implementation of an integrated orthopaedic trauma/microsurgical team. Main Outcome Measure: Time from index injury to flap coverage. Results: The unadjusted median time to coverage was 7 days (95% confidence interval, 5.9-8.1) preintegration, and 6 days (95% confidence interval, 4.6-7.4) postintegration (P = 0.48). For preintegration, 9 (69%) of the patients experienced complications, compared with 7 (47%) postintegration (P = 0.23). Conclusions: After formation of an integrated orthopaedic trauma/microsurgery team, we observed a 1-day decrease in median days to coverage from index injury. Complications overall were lowered in the postintegration group, although statistically insignificant. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of orthopaedic trauma
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • open tibia fracture
  • postsurgical complications
  • soft-tissue coverage
  • surgical flap

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