The tibia is the most commonly fractured long bone. Although the goals of fracture management are straightforward, methods for achieving anatomical alignment and stable fixation are limited.
Type of management depends on fracture pattern, local soft-tissue involvement, and systemic patient factors. Tibial shaft fractures with concomitant fibula fractures, particularly those at the same level, may be difficult to manage because of their inherent instability. Typically, management of lower extremity fractures is focused on the tibia fixation, and the associated fibula fracture is managed without fixation.
In this article, we describe a novel technique for intramedullary fixation of the fibula, using a humeral guide wire as an adjunct to tibia fixation in the setting of tibial shaft fracture. This technique aids in determining length, alignment, and rotation of the tibia fracture and may help support the lower extremity as whole by stabilizing the lateral column. In addition, this technique can be used to help maintain reduction of the fibula when there is concern about the soft tissues of the lower extremity secondary to swelling or injury.
Our clinical case series demonstrates the safety, effectiveness, and cost-sensitivity of this technique in managing select concurrent fractures of the tibia and fibula.