Suprapatellar nailing in proximal third tibial fractures - Clinicoradiological outcome

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Aims and objectives: To evaluate the clinical and radiological outcome of proximal third tibia fractures managed by suprapatellar nailing with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. Methodology: In our retrospective cohort study of 43 consecutive proximal third tibia fractures from January 2015 to September 2018 treated with intramedullary nailing through suprapatellar approach in semiextended knee position were included. The patients were followed up regularly at 6 weeks, 3 months, 4.5 months, 6 months, 12 months and every 6 months thereafter. At each visit patients were assessed for union, shortening and rotational alignment. The clinical outcome was analysed using Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) and anterior knee pain. The radiological outcomes are analysed by evaluating the radiographs for progression of fracture union and tibial alignments. Results: After fulfilling the exclusion and inclusion criteria, 43 out of 60 consecutive proximal third tibia fracture were included in the study with an average age of 38.4 years (20–71 years), follow up of 20.4 months (12–45 months) after the index procedure. The radiological union was achieved in 7.3 months (4–13 months). At the end of 1 year follow up, the average LEFS was 89.4% (60%-95%). 4 patients had Malunion – with 1 valgus and 3 anterior angulations, 8 delayed unions and 1 non-union (with bone loss- which required bone grafting). All the fractures united eventually. No incidence of anterior knee pain. Conclusion: We recommend suprapatellar nailing in proximal third tibial fractures when meticulously performed using the current surgical principles and techniques with proper implant selection. It results in excellent clinical and radiological outcomes with minimal complications when compared to other modalities of management. Suprapatellar nailing is a viable option for proximal third tibia fractures due to its inherent advantages of positioning, perfect nail entry and placement. Additionally, noteworthy absence of anterior knee pain is an additional benefit of this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01-08-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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