Functional outcome and economic burden of operative management of patellar fractures: the pivotal role of onerous implants
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The complication rate following operative treatment of patellar fractures remains high and is associated with a poor functional outcome. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate our functional outcome of patellar fracture osteosynthesis and define strategies to improve the outcome. The healthcare costs and utilization were calculated.
All demographic, clinical, radiographic variables and hospital-related costs of 111 patients with 113 surgically treated patellar fractures between January 2005 and December 2014 were analyzed. Fractures were grouped as either simple or complex. Functional outcome was assessed using Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS).
There were 67 simple fractures (59.3%) and 46 complex fractures (40.7%). The overall complication rate was 48.7%, including 19.5% implant-related complications. In 69 patients (61.1%), implants were removed. The outcome was rather poor, with considerable impairment in all KOOS subscales with the knee-related quality of life rated worst (median 62.5, IQR 37.5–81.25). Poor outcome correlated significantly with complex patellar fractures and extensive tension-band constructs.
The operative treatment of patellar fractures was associated with a high complication rate, functional impairment and reduced quality of life. Complex patellar fractures and extensive tension-band constructs were identified as the main determinants of poor outcome and increased economic burden due to higher reinterventions rates. Strategies to reduce complications and improve outcome should focus on less onerous implants.
KeywordsPatellar fractures KOOS Functional outcome Economics
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Maike Reul, Marie Verschaeve, Tillo Mennes, Stefaan Nijs and Harm Hoekstra have no conflicts of interest.
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