Intramedullary nail fixation remains the standard treatment for displaced tibial shaft fractures. Establishing an appropriate starting point remains a crucial step in the surgical procedure. Tibial nailing using an infrapatellar starting point with the knee flexed over a radiolucent triangle has been established as a widely-used standard technique. Tibial nail insertion with the knee in the semi-extended position was introduced with the goal to counteract post-operative procurvatum deformities that frequently have been reported as a common problem in proximal third tibial shaft fractures. Early reports on tibial nailing in the semi-extended position used a knee arthrotomy in order to establish the proximal tibial starting point. Recent technological advances have provided the surgical community with instrumentation systems that allow for tibial nailing in the semi-extended position using a suprapatellar portal with nail insertion through the patellofemoral joint. Preliminary clinical studies have suggested favorable outcomes that can be achieved with this technique. This article provides a description of the surgical technique and a review of the currently available evidence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine