Fracture-related outcome study for operatively treated tibia shaft fractures (F.R.O.S.T.): registry rationale and design

W J Metsemakers, Kirsten Kortram, N Ferreira, M Morgenstern, A Joeris, HC Pape, C Kammerlander, S Konda, JK Oh, PV Giannoudis, KA Egol, WT Obremskey, Michiel Verhofstad, M Raschke

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Background: Tibial shaft fractures (TSFs) are among the most common long bone injuries often resulting from high-energy trauma. To date, musculoskeletal complications such as fracture-related infection (FRI) and compromised fracture healing following fracture fixation of these injuries are still prevalent. The relatively high complication rates prove that, despite advances in modern fracture care, the management of TSFs remains a challenge even in the hands of experienced surgeons. Therefore, the Fracture-Related Outcome Study for operatively treated Tibia shaft fractures (F.R.O.S.T.) aims at creating a registry that enables data mining to gather detailed information to support future clinical decision-making regarding the management of TSF’s. Methods: This prospective, international, multicenter, observational registry for TSFs was recently developed. Recruitment started in 2019 and is planned to take 36 months, seeking to enroll a minimum of 1000 patients. The study protocol does not influence the clinical decision-making procedure, implant choice, or surgical/imaging techniques; these are being performed as per local hospital standard of care. Data collected in this registry include injury specifics, treatment details, clinical outcomes (e.g., FRI), patient-reported outcomes, and procedure- or implant-related adverse events. The minimum follow up is 12 months. Discussion: Although over the past decades, multiple high-quality studies have addressed individual research questions related to the outcome of TSFs, knowledge gaps remain. The scarcity of data calls for an international high-quality, population-based registry. Creating such a database could optimize strategies intended to prevent severe musculoskeletal complications. The main purpose of the F.R.O.S.T registry is to evaluate the association between different treatment strategies and patient outcomes. It will address not only operative techniques and implant materials but also perioperative preventive measures. For the first time, data concerning systemic perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis, the influence of local antimicrobials, and timing of soft-tissue coverage will be collected at an international level and correlated with standardized outcome measures in a large prospective, multicenter, observational registry for global accessibility. Trial registration: NCT03598530.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2021

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  • EMC OR-01


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