Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), research from Oxford Trauma in conjunction with Warwick Clinical Trials Unit shows that intramedullary nail fixation provides better quality of life for patients in the 12 months following a fracture of the distal tibia and costs less than ‘locking’ plate fixation.

The shin bone (tibia) is the most commonly broken bone in the leg. Injuries in the lower part of the shin bone (distal tibia) nearly always require hospital admission and usually require surgery. Existing research suggested that modern ‘locking’ plate fixation and intramedullary nail fixation are the most common types of operation performed for this fracture. However, it was not clear which provides better outcomes for patients.

In this study, 321 adult patients having surgery for a fracture of the distal tibia were given either nail fixation or ‘locking’ plate fixation. Using the Disability Rating Index, patients reported their own outcomes at three, six and 12 months after their fracture. Further information was also collected on the patient’s quality of life, complications suffered and associated costs of the treatment.

The Disability Rating Index of both groups of patients improved in the months after their surgery, although patients were not back to normal even a year later. Patients who had nail fixation of their tibial fracture showed evidence of improvement at three months but there were no differences between the treatments after six months. There was also no difference in the number of complications suffered by each group, but further surgery was more common in the ‘locking’ plate group. The economic analysis showed nail fixation was cheaper than ‘locking’ plate fixation.

Commenting on the findings, Matthew Costa, Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery said: “The results of the trial will not only influence the type of surgery offered to patients but also help reduce costs to the NHS”.

Read the full report on The Journal of the American Medical Association:

Funding Body

hta_funded_logo.gif

Similar stories

Plaster cast or metal pins to treat a broken wrist? The results are in.

An Oxford study published in The BMJ has found the use of metal K-wires (commonly known as ‘pins’) to hold broken wrist bones in place while they heal are no better than a traditional moulded plaster cast.

Professor Chris Buckley has joined the Kennedy Institute as Director of Clinical Research

Moving to the University of Oxford with the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP) will help accelerate the discovery of new treatments for inflammatory diseases.

Behind enemy lines: research finds a new ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease hidden within the vessel wall itself

A new study reveals the existence of a powerful ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease, a protective subset of vascular macrophages expressing the C-type lectin receptor CLEC4A2, a molecule which fosters “good” macrophage behaviour within the vessel wall.

More effective treatment found for patients hospitalised with COVID-19 pneumonia

A proof-of-concept trial involving Oxford researchers has identified a drug that may benefit some patients hospitalised with COVID-19 pneumonia.

NDORMS researchers honoured in the Recognition Of Distinction Scheme 2021

Sally Hopewell and John Christianson have been awarded the title of ‘Full Professor’ in the University of Oxford’s Recognition Of Distinction Scheme 2021.

New Oxford-Zeiss Centre of Excellence opens at the University of Oxford

The Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology and the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine announce the launch of the Oxford-Zeiss Centre of Excellence, providing state-of-the-art imaging technologies to lead future discoveries in global health and disease.