Distal Femur Locking Plate: The Answer to All Distal Femoral Fractures RC01-RC05
Dr. Jagandeep Singh Virk,
#675, Phase 3 B 1, Sector 60, Mohali-160059, Punjab, India.
Introduction: Good results have been published by researchers with distal femur nail, dynamic condylar screw and even addition of a medial plate to a distal femur locking plate for treating distal femur fractures. By this study, we explore the capability of a distal femur locking plate to counter distal femur fractures of extra- articular, partial or intra- articular nature. Positive results have been published by various groups from all over the world.
Aim: To study the functional and radiological outcome of distal femoral fractures in skeletally mature patients treated by open reduction and internal fixation with distal femur locking plate.
Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study conducted from January 2012 to March 2014 at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) with a 2 year follow-up. Twenty five skeletally mature patients with post-traumatic distal femur fractures were included. Patients with open grade 3B and 3C distal femur fractures, according to the Gustilo- Anderson classification and pathological distal femur fractures were excluded from the study. Patients with any fracture other than the distal femur in the ipsilateral limb were excluded from the study. Follow-up at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years was carried out and evaluation was done according to the Neer scoring system. The statistical data analysis was carried out using SPSS version 20 (IBM, Chicago, USA). The p-value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Following all principles of fracture reduction, union was achieved in all patients with mean time to radiological union being 19 weeks. The mean Range of Motion (ROM) was 109 degrees with 20 patients having a Neer score graded as excellent to satisfactory. Our study had nine cases which required additional surgeries. Out of these, all nine cases required bone grafting, three also required antibiotic cement bead insertion initially. Three patients developed complications in the form of infection (two cases) and mal-union (one case) during the course of our study, but were completely treated by the end of the study.
Conclusion: Positive results can be obtained by distal femur locking plate alone as it is the main implant of choice for distal femur fractures of all varieties. Best outcome is expected if fracture fixation is done following all the basic principles of fracture fixation and taking benefit of the mechanical properties of a locking plate.