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Orthop Clin North Am. 1976 Jan;7(1):205-13.

Boot top fractures.


Low transverse fractures of the tibiofibular complex due to ski injuries were formerly virtually unknown but are now met in ever increasing numbers. A series of 126 such fractures occurring in patients 13 years or older was analyzed. The sex and age distributions of these patients were found to differ significantly from those in skiers with other tibial shaft fractures. Among boot top fractures cases, boys younger than 20 years predominated much more than among patients with other fractures of the tibial shaft. In the boot top fracture there is characteristically a backward angulation, which may be combined with a forward displacement of the distal fragment. A simple technique for reduction of this typical deformity is described. According to this technique the surgeon should take a steady grip on the foot held in extreme plantar flexion. By applying strong traction, disimpaction is achieved after which the distal fragment is forced back into position and the fracture is immobilized with the foot in full equinus. This technique was successfully applied in the majority of our cases (112 of 126). Patients with boot top fractures were hospitalized for shorter periods than were skiers with other tibial fractures, and they were able to resume their normal activities much sooner. This held true even when allowance was made for differences in age. During the last few years a new type of boot top fracture has been observed. In this type there is a forward instead of a backward angulation. Its occurrence is most probably related to the new "scoot foot" or "sitting back" technique in downhill skiing. The appearance of this new type of boot top fracture implies that successful prevention can be achieved only with safety bindings that release not only at rotation but also when the skier falls backward.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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