Background: The purpose of this study was to compare two methods of stabilization for proximal tibia fractures (AO 41) with a complete metaphyseal component, external fixation with the Ilizarov wire frame, and internal fixation with locking plates. Methods: Patients from two level 1 trauma centers treated between 2009 and 2015 were included in a retrospective comparing cohort study. The first center stabilized the non-pathological, proximal tibia fractures exclusively with external fixation and the second with internal plating. Combined clinically and radiologically evaluated, bone healing was the primary outcome. The secondary outcomes included complications, range of motion (ROM) and axial alignment of the knee, the reoperation rate within 6 months, heterotopic ossifications (HTO), and signs of posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). A logistic regression analysis corrected for uneven distributed parameters. Results: The 62 patients treated with Ilizarov frame and the 68 patients treated with plate fixation were comparable regarding epidemiological parameters, injury characteristics, and comorbidity except for injury severity score (ISS) and smoking behavior. The time of healing was shorter in the group undergoing plate fixation (p = 0.041); however, the incidence of non-unions was equal. Furthermore, there was no difference regarding the rate of deep infections, thrombosis, alignment, reoperations, PTOA, and ROM. Heterotopic ossifications were more prevalent following plate fixation (13.2 vs 1.6%, p = .013). External fixation was associated with a higher rate of superficial infections (40.4 vs 2.9%, p = .000). The initial displacement, the incidence of deep infections, and the classification significantly influenced the incidence of non-unions in both groups (p < 0.02). Conclusions: Fixation of proximal tibia fractures with plates resulted in a slightly shorter healing time compared to Ilizarov frame stabilization. Furthermore, the complication profiles differ with more heterotopic ossifications and less superficial infections following internal plating.