BACKGROUND: Locked-plate fracture-fixation techniques and designs continue to evolve. Polyaxial locking plates that allow screw angulation and end-point locking have become available; however, there are no clinical data documenting their strength and efficacy, to our knowledge. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical performance of a variable-axis locking plate in a multicenter series of periarticular fractures about the knee.
METHODS: Between 2003 and 2005, fifty-four patients with a total of fifty-six fractures were treated with a polyaxial locked-plate fixation system (DePuy, Warsaw, Indiana). There were twenty male patients and thirty-four female patients with a mean age of fifty-seven years. There were twenty-five distal femoral fractures and thirty-one proximal tibial fractures. Twelve of the fractures were open. Clinical and radiographic data, including changes in alignment, hardware breakage, or other mechanical complications of the device, were retrospectively reviewed. Function was assessed with use of the Knee Society scores. One patient with a bilateral fracture died less than three months postoperatively, and two patients were lost to follow-up prior to union. Fifty-two fractures in fifty-one patients were followed to union or for a minimum of six months; the mean duration of follow-up was nine months (range, six to twenty-five months).
RESULTS: Forty-nine (94%) of the fifty-two fractures united. There were no mechanical complications. Most importantly, there was no evidence of varus collapse as a result of polyaxial screw failure. There were three deep infections and one aseptic nonunion. No plate fractured, and no screw cut out.
CONCLUSIONS: The variable-axis locking plates performed well, with a high rate of fracture union and no evidence of varus collapse due to failure of the polyaxial screw fixation, in a series of complex fractures about the knee. Complication rates were similar to those for historical controls treated with fixed-trajectory locking plates. Polyaxial locking plates offer more fixation versatility without an apparent increase in mechanical complications or loss of reduction.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CITATION: “Results of Polyaxial Locked-Plate Fixation of Periarticular Fractures of the Knee” (2007;89:614-20).
The original scientific article in which the surgical technique was presented was published in JBJS Vol. 89-A, pp. 614-20, March 2007
DISCLOSURE: In support of their research for or preparation of this work, one or more of the authors received, in any one year, outside funding or grants in excess of $10,000 from DePuy Trauma. In addition, one or more of the authors or a member of his or her immediate family received, in any one year, payments or other benefits in excess of $10,000 or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity (DePuy). Also, a commercial entity (DePuy, University of Minnesota Research Support) paid or directed in any one year, or agreed to pay or direct, benefits in excess of $10,000 to a research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which one or more of the authors, or a member of his or her immediate family, is affiliated or associated.
A video supplement to this article has been produced by the Video Journal of Orthopaedics (VJO). This production is included on the bound-in DVD as part of this issue and will also be available in streaming video format at the JBJS website, www.jbjs.org. VJO can be contacted at (805) 962-3410, web site: www.vjortho.com.
The line drawings in this article are the work of Joanne Haderer Müller of Haderer & Müller ().
Investigation performed at the Orthopedic Trauma Service, Florida Orthopedic Institute, Temple Terrace, Florida; the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; New West Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery, Kearney, Nebraska; Orthopaedic Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Regions Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota
- Copyright © 2008 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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