Authors of section


Alan Ruggles

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Lateral approach to tibial shaft

1. Anatomy

Approaches to the tibia for diaphyseal fracture repair must take the following anatomy into consideration. The cranial tibial artery is located on the cranial lateral aspect of the tibia. The lateral outpouching (sulcus muscularis) of the lateral femorotibial joint compartment extends distally, surrounding the long digital extensor tendon on the proximolateral aspect of the tibia. The tenuous soft tissue on the medial aspect of the tibia must be protected and the closely attached digital extensor tendons distally near the tarsocrural joint must be avoided.

cranial approach to tibial shaft

For a lateral approach, the incision is made between the long digital extensor and the cranial tibial muscles.

lateral approach to tibial shaft

2. Closure

Closed drain suction is recommended for 24-48 hours to prevent seroma formation. The subcutaneous tissue and skin is closed routinely and a sterile stent bandage is applied.

cranial approach to tibial shaft