Date: 13 Oct 2011

The Use of External Fixators in the Acute Management of Tibial Pilon Fractures

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A pilon fracture is a fracture into the articular surface of the distal tibia. The complexity of this injury and problem in its treatment are detailed in a fascinating monograph by the French radiologist Chaput. His name is memorialized in the eponym “Chaput’s tubercle” for the important anterolateral corner of the distal tibia, which contains the origin of the anteroinferior tibiofibular ligament – the cinch for the tibiofibular syndesmosis [1]. Reassembly of the distal articular surface is detailed in Lambotte’s books on fracture fixation [2]. It was, however, not until the Swiss Fracture group began their historic systematic approach to the operative treatment of fractures that the “pilon fracture” was categorized and regularly repaired surgically.