Gustilo grade IIIB open tibial fractures are relatively difficult to treat. We investigated the treatment effects of tibial intramedullary nails combined with vacuum sealing drainage (VSD) for Gustilo grade IIIB open tibial fractures. From March 2015 to March 2017, 13 cases of Gustilo grade IIIB open tibial fractures were treated with Expert Tibial Nails combined with VSD. Causes of injury included falls from a height (n = 9, 69.2%) and road accidents (n = 4, 30.8%). The duration from time of injury to hospital intake was 7.3 hours (range 5 to 9.5), and the time between injury and operation was 6.7 days (range 3 to 11). Six months after the operation, overall patient general health was investigated via the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle score and the physical and mental health dimensions of the Short-Form Health Survey 36 (SF-36). Postoperative complications and infections also were recorded. The results indicated that the median AOFAS score was 93.7 (range 89 to 97), with all individuals having either excellent (90 to 100; n = 10, 76.9%) or good (80 to 89; n = 3, 23.1%) outcomes. The median physical SF-36 score was 83.1 (range 72.5 to 93.0), and the median mental SF-36 score was 80.6 (range 69.7 to 92.0). Moreover, there were no instances of tibial shortening, neurovascular injury, postoperative complications, implant failure, malunion, or serious infections. In conclusion, intramedullary tibial nail combined with VSD is a safe and effective method to treat type grade IIIB open tibial fractures.
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