Background: Footballers constitute a unique group of patients with tibial shaft fractures. They tend to have excellent general health and well developed musculature in the leg, and their fractures are generally closed injuries caused by low velocity trauma. However, little has been reported on the outcome after tibial shaft fractures in this group.
Objective: To identify patterns of injury, response to treatment, and functional outcome in such a group.
Method: Fifty consecutive tibial shaft fractures in adult footballers treated at Merlin Park Regional Hospital over a five year period were analysed.
Results: Most of the fractures were type A injuries (AO/ASIF classification). The incidence of complications was low. All patients reported good or excellent satisfaction with their outcome. However, only 54% of patients returned to playing competitive football.
Conclusion: Tibial shaft fractures in amateur footballers are associated with good results when traditional outcome criteria are used, but many patients do not regain their previous level of function.
- tibial shaft fractures
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