Temporary Stabilization with External Fixator in ‘Tripolar’ Configuration in Two Steps Treatment of Tibial Pilon Fractures

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 30 Mar 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001610010049



The tibial pilon fractures represent a complex therapeutic problem for the orthopedic surgeon, given the frequent complications and outcomes disabling. The recent medical literature indicates that the best strategy to reduce amount of complications in tibial pilon fractures is two-stages procedure. We describe our experience in the primary stabilization of these fractures.


We treated 36 cases with temporary external fixation in a simple configuration, called "tripolar": this is an essential structure (only three screws and three rods), that is possible to perform even without the availability of X-rays and with simple anesthesia or sedation.


We found a sufficient mechanical stability for the nursing post-operative, in absence of intraoperative and postoperative problems. The time between trauma and temporary stabilization ranged between 3 and 144 hours; surgical average time was 8.4 minutes. Definitive treatment was carried out with a delay of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 15 days from the temporary stabilization, always without problems, both in case of ORIF (open reduction, internal fixation) or circular external fixation


Temporary stabilization with external fixator in ‘tripolar’ configuration seems to be the most effective strategy in two steps treatment of tibial pilon fractures. These preliminary encouraging results must be confirmed by further studies with more cases.

Keywords: Ligamentotaxis, simple sedation, temporary external fixation, tibial pilon fracture, tripolar configuration, two stages treatment.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub