Radiographic and clinical results after surgically treated tibial plateau fractures at three and twenty two years postsurgery
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We examined the development of osteoarthritis (OA) and post-traumatic bone loss after surgery for tibial plateau fractures (TPF).
Patients who had participated in previous follow-up (FU) examinations after TPF and primary reduction and internal fixation were re-evaluated. At the first FU, a median of three years after the accident (short-term FU), the patients underwent functional assessments and standardised X-rays to grade radiological OA and post-traumatic bone loss. At the second FU, a median of 22 years after the accident (long-term FU), 30 patients were available. An identical protocol was applied, and additional investigations [Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the injured knee] were performed.
When the subjective and objective results at first FU were compared with those of the second FU for the same patients, deterioration of symptoms, signs and radiological OA was noted; however, ten patients had no OA even after the long-term FU. Some patients developed post-traumatic bone loss. In 13 of 31 knees, there was little or no radiological evidence of bone loss at the second FU.
The short-term FU examination results after TPF have little prognostic value for the individual patient, as good results may deteriorate over the long run; however, there were some knees with no OA at the long-term FU. This is the first report focusing on post-traumatic bone loss after TPF.
KeywordsTibial plateau fractures Follow-up studies Osteoarthritis Fracture fixation Radiography
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