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Supracondylar-intercondylar fractures of the femur. Treatment by internal fixation
JM Siliski; M Mahring; HP Hofer
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1989 Jan 01;71(1):95-104
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The records on fifty-two supracondylar-intercondylar fractures of the femur were reviewed twenty to 120 months after injury. More than one-third of the fractures had been open. All of the fractures were treated in a single trauma center, using: (1) a single lateral incision, (2) internal fixation with ASIF interfragmentary screws and plates, (3) bone-grafting of comminuted metaphyseal segments, (4) impaction of comminuted metaphyseal segments in osteoporotic elderly patients, and (5) repair of any associated torn ligaments and patellar fractures. Postoperatively, early active motion of the knee was encouraged, and for selected patients a brace was used only to protect the repair of associated disruptions of ligaments or of the extensor mechanism. The fractures were classified by the ASIF system, with C1 being a simple Y pattern, C2 having additional supracondylar comminution, and C3 having intra-articular comminution. The final results were rated using the system that was described by Neer et al. for fractures of the distal end of the femur. The average time between the operation and full weight-bearing (healing) was 13.6 weeks and ranged from 12.3 weeks for C1 fractures (as graded using the ASIF classification) to 15.4 weeks for C3 fractures. The average final arc of motion of the knee was 107 degrees, ranging from 113 degrees for C1 fractures to 99 degrees for C3 fractures. C1 fractures had a better outcome (92 per cent excellent and good results) than did C2 and C3 fractures (77 per cent excellent and good results). Two amputations and one arthrodesis were done to treat infection, and infection accounted for three of the four poor results. Age did not influence the final results, although elderly patients had a longer period of hospitalization. Supracondylar-intercondylar fractures of the femur should be analyzed separately from other fractures of the distal end of the femur because of their intra-articular involvement and associated ligamentous injuries and patellar fractures. Rigid internal fixation permits early functional rehabilitation of the patient and decreases the incidence of malunion, non-union, and loss of fixation.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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