ANATOMIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL FEATURES OF DISTAL LOWER LEG AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE PROCESS OF OSTEOGENESIS
Desimir Mladenović, Milorad Mitković, Saša Karalaić, Predrag Stojiljković, Saša Milenković and Marko Mladenović
Osteogenesis is the process of bone tissue forming, i.e. bone or callus regeneration. This process is influenced by many factors, and the degree of bone fragments’ stability and vascularization in the fracture area are the basic local factors which determine the nature of reparative process. Regenerative process of all bone structures increases with increasing of blood supply. The distal lower leg has its specific biomechanical features, and plays an important role in the transfer of body weight to foot. The distal part of tibia has a small diameter, which as a consequence has reduced diameter in medullar cave. Through this anatomic feature, the medullar network in the lower tibia part is also reduced. As for anatomic aspect, vascularization in the lower end of tibia is poor. It primarily depends on periosteal vascularization, because medullar vascularization is reduced. Fasciae, tendons and skin cover the lower part of the leg, and there is no muscle mass. These tissues have poor vascular network and that is why the extraosseous blood circulation in tibia is poor, and does not participate in the osteogenesis process. For these reasons, distal lower leg represents a predelection site for delayed osteogenesis and pseudoarthrosys development. Osteosynthesis causes secondary damage to bone and soft tissue circulation. The screw plate damages the periosteal circulation – in the lower part of tibia it is the main source of vascularization, and for this reason, this method of osteosynthesis should not be applied. The external fixator has a sparing role regarding vascularization, and that is the reason why this method is recommended for fracture stabilization at the level of distal lower leg. Acta Medica Medianae 2010;49(2):51-55.
Key words: distal lower leg, bone vascularization, osteogenesis