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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 98-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1248 - 1252
1 Sep 2016
White TO Bugler KE Appleton P WillE McQueen MM Court-Brown CM


The fundamental concept of open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of ankle fractures has not changed appreciably since the 1960s and, whilst widely used, is associated with complications including wound dehiscence and infection, prominent hardware and failure. Closed reduction and intramedullary fixation (CRIF) using a fibular nail, wires or screws is biomechanically stronger, requires minimal incisions, and has low-profile hardware. We hypothesised that fibular nailing in the elderly would have similar functional outcomes to standard fixation, with a reduced rate of wound and hardware problems.

Patients and Methods

A total of 100 patients (25 men, 75 women) over the age of 65 years with unstable ankle fractures were randomised to undergo standard ORIF or fibular nailing (11 men and 39 women in the ORIF group, 14 men and 36 women in the fibular nail group). The mean age was 74 years (65 to 93) and all patients had at least one medical comorbidity. Complications, patient related outcome measures and cost-effectiveness were assessed over 12 months.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 85-B, Issue 4 | Pages 521 - 524
1 May 2003
Meighan AAS Keating JF Will E

We randomised 31 patients with acute tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to receive either early (within 2 weeks) or delayed (8 to 12 weeks) reconstruction using a quadruple hamstring graft in order to determine if there was any functional advantage to early reconstruction. Outcome measures included return of knee movement, muscle dynamometry, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scores and Tegner activity levels.

Two cases of symptomatic deep-venous thrombosis occurred in the early group. The mean range of movement was significantly greater at two weeks in the delayed group. Quadriceps muscle power was significantly better in the delayed group at 12 weeks (p < 0.05). These trends were evident at later time points, but were not statistically significant. One patient in each group had clinically significant knee stiffness at 52 weeks. IKDC scores and Tegner activity levels were not significantly different at 52 weeks. We conclude that there is no functional advantage to be gained by early reconstruction of the ACL.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 3 | Pages 326 - 331
1 Apr 2000
Gaston P Will E McQueen MM Elton RA Court-Brown CM

We examined the recovery of power in the muscles of the lower limb after fracture of the tibial diaphysis, using a Biodex dynamometer. Recovery in all muscle groups was rapid for 15 to 20 weeks following fracture after which it slowed. Two weeks after fracture the knee flexors and extensors have about 40% of normal power, which rises to 75% to 85% after one year. The dorsiflexors and plantar flexors of the ankle and the invertors and evertors of the subtalar joint are much weaker two weeks after injury, but at one year their mean power is more than that of the knee flexors and extensors.

Our findings showed that age, the mode of injury, fracture morphology, the presence of an open wound and the Tscherne grade of closed fractures correlated with muscle power. It is age, however, which mainly determines muscle recovery after fracture of the tibial diaphysis.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 3 | Pages 481 - 484
1 May 1999
Robinson CM O’Donnell J Will E Keating JF

We made a prospective study of 208 patients with tibial fractures treated by reamed intramedullary nailing. Of these, 11 (5.3%) developed dysfunction of the peroneal nerve with no evidence of a compartment syndrome.

The patients with this complication were significantly younger (mean age 25.6 years) and most had closed fractures of the forced-varus type with relatively minor soft-tissue damage. The fibula was intact in three, fractured in the distal or middle third in seven, with only one fracture in the proximal third. Eight of the 11 patients showed a ‘dropped hallux’ syndrome, with weakness of extensor hallucis longus and numbness in the first web space, but no clinical involvement of extensor digitorum longus or tibialis anterior. This was confirmed by nerve-conduction studies in three of the eight patients.

There was good recovery of muscle function within three to four months in all cases, but after one year three patients still had some residual tightness of extensor hallucis longus, and two some numbness in the first web space. No patient required further treatment.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 1 | Pages 71 - 76
1 Jan 1999
Gaston P Will E Elton RA McQueen MM Court-Brown CM

We have carried out a prospective study to determine whether the basic descriptive criteria and classifications of diaphyseal fractures of the tibia determine prognosis, as is widely believed. A number of systems which are readily available were used, with outcome being determined by standard measurements including fracture union, the need for secondary surgery and the incidence of infection. Many validated functional outcomes were also used. The Tscherne classification of closed fractures proved to be slightly more predictive of outcome than the others, but our findings indicate that such systems have little predictive value.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 78-B, Issue 4 | Pages 580 - 583
1 Jul 1996
Court-Brown CM Will E Christie J McQueen MM

We performed a prospective, randomised study on 50 patients with Tscherne C1 tibial diaphyseal fractures comparing treatment with reamed and unreamed intramedullary nails. Our results show that reamed nailing is associated with a significantly lower time to union and a reduced requirement for a further operation. Unreamed nailing should not be used in the treatment of the common Tscherne C1 tibial fracture.