Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Healing of tibia (the large bone in the leg) fractures occurs over a wide time range, from a minimum of two months to a maximum of six months in most patients. In a significant percentage of patients, healing may take place well beyond six months after the trauma or may require one or more surgical procedures, with significant associated health costs. Although general and local conditions that may adversely affect fracture healing have been identified, the ability to early recognise fractures at risk of developing a non-union (failure of healing) is still left to the surgeon’s experience. The FRACTING score has been developed by using data about clinical data that is used to predict the risk of a bone to non-union. This score can be used to predict how long is needed for healing. This score may be able to identify patients who are at risk of non-union and this can allow them to pursue different treatments, resulting in reduced disability time and health cost savings. The aim of this study is to investigate the capability of the FRACTING score, calculated soon after fracture treatment to predict fracture healing time.
Who can participate?
Adults aged 18 and older who have a fracture.
What does the study involve?
Participants are suffered a tibia fracture receive their routine treatment and follow up care. During their follow up, clinical data about their healing is collected in a dedicated software and a score is used to calculate their risk of failure to healing.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from knowing their score in order to receive customized treatment protocols by planning closer surveillance and specific rehabilitation. There are no risks with participating.
Where is the study run from?
This study is being run by IGEA SpA (Italy) and takes place in 40 Orthopaedic Traumatology centres (Italy).
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2009 to October 2014
Who is funding the study?
IGEA SpA (Italy)
Who is the main contact?
Dr Stefania Setti
The FRACTING study
The FRACTING (tibia FRACTure prediction healING days) Study: Can clinical and surgical parameters be combined to predict how long it will take a tibia fracture to heal? A prospective multicentre observational study
The FRACTING study
Healing of tibia fractures occurs over a wide time range (2 to >12 months) with a number of general and local factors contributing to prolonged healing. The aim of this study is to investigate the capability of the FRACTING score, calculated soon after fracture treatment to predict fracture healing time.
Ethical Committee University of Ferrara Italy, 29/09/2011
This prospective observational cohort study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Patient information sheet
No participant information sheet available
Patients who had suffered a tibia fracture.
Patients who had suffered a tibia fracture were recruited in 40 Italian orthopaedic traumatology centres to be surgically treated. The patient's treatment and the time of follow-up were left to the choice of the trauma surgeon based on experience.
During the follow-up, clinical data about the healing is collected in a dedicated software and used to calculate the score to identify fractures at risk of non-union. Drop down menu was used for descriptive variables. Required fields ensured complete and consistent data collection.The score is calculated adding all values. Information on patient health, fracture morphology and surgical treatment adopted was combined to calculate the FRACTING score. Fractures were considered healed when the patient was able to fully weight-bear without pain. Within 12 months from trauma, the date at which the fracture healed was used to calculate days and months elapsed since treatment (“healing time”).
Primary outcome measure
Time to healing of a tibia fracture is calculated by correlating surgical and clinical data in a dedicated software used to calculate the score: score versus healing time.
Secondary outcome measures
Ability of the score to identify fractures at risk of non-union healing after more than six months.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Patients with post-traumatic fractures type 41-A and B, 42-A-B and C, 43-A and B according to AO classification
2. Fracture treatment within 3 days from trauma
3. Patient age >18 years
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Fractures involving the tibia plateau and malleolar fractures
2. Patients with autoimmune diseases or neoplasia
3. Patients who could not return to the treating centre for follow-up visits
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
40 Italian orthopaedic traumatology centres
44121 Ferrara coordinating center
Via Parmenide 10/A
+39 059 699 600
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are/will be available upon request from Dr Francesca De Terlizzi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Available on request
Basic results (scientific)