Over a 24 month period, 30 patients with proximal tibia fractures who were reviewed consecutively were treated by nonreamed, statically locked, intramedullary nailing. There were 16 open, 13 segmental, and 7 comminuted fractures (Winquist III, IV). The average distance from the fracture to the proximal locking screws was 24 mm (range, 0-65 mm). All procedures were performed while the patient's affected leg was on a radiolucent table without traction. The last 25 fractures were nailed using a partial (2/3) medial parapatellar incision while the leg was semiextended. This approach allowed the patella to be subluxed laterally availing the trochlear groove for use as a conduit for nail placement. Using only 15 degrees knee flexion eliminated the extension force of the quadriceps on the proximal fragment, which otherwise would have tended to cause anterior angulation at the fracture site. In the first 5 patients, the average anterior angulation was 8 degrees (range, 5 degrees-15 degrees). Of the 25 patients who were treated while in the semiextended position, none had more than 5 degrees anterior angulation and 19 had no anterior angulation. Fractures of 3 of the 25 patients had greater than 5 degrees angulation in the coronal plane, 2 of which were nailed in the semiextended position. This technique greatly facilitates intramedullary nailing of proximal tibia fractures.

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