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Injury. 1989 Jul;20(4):232-5.

Post-traumatic oedema of the foot after tibial fracture.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital.


A total of 97 patients with diaphyseal tibial fractures treated with functional bracing were studied prospectively. Persistent ipsilateral foot swelling was present in 84.5 per cent of the patients. Most of the swellings subsided with time, but a small percentage of them persisted for a duration of 2 years or more after injury. The time for disappearance of the swelling in 50 per cent of the patients was 18.6 weeks. The development of oedema is not related to the age and sex of the patients, the configuration, type and level of the fractures, or the association of a fibular fracture. The bone healed quicker in those who did not have swelling of the foot. Once the swelling has developed, it seems to run its own course and its disappearance is not related to the age and sex, the configuration, type and level of fractures, the association of a fibular fracture, or the time for fracture healing. This complication does not have any adverse effect on the functional recovery of the patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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