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

Walter Daghino1, *, Marco Messina1, Marco Filipponi2, Massè Alessandro3
1 CTO Hospital - I Clinic, Turin, Italy
2 Lecce Hospital, Lecce, Italy
3 C.T.O. - I Clinic, Turin, Italy

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1128
Abstract HTML Views: 427
PDF Downloads: 245
ePub Downloads: 231
Total Views/Downloads: 2031
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 697
Abstract HTML Views: 295
PDF Downloads: 181
ePub Downloads: 187
Total Views/Downloads: 1360

Creative Commons License
© Daghino et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the CTO Hospital via zuretti 29, Turin, 10126, Italy; E-mail:



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.