Complex AO type C3 distal femur fractures: Results after fix
Background: Complex AO type C3 fractures of the distal femur are challenging injuries, fraught with complications such as malunion and stiffness. We prospectively evaluated a consecutive series of patients with complex AO type C3 distal femur fractures to determine the clinicoradiological outcome after fixation with a single locked plate using modified swashbuckler approach.

Materials and Methods: 12 patients with C3 type distal femur fractures treated with a lateral locked plate, using a modified swashbuckler approach, were included in the study. The extraarticular component was managed either by compression plating or bridge plating (transarticular approach and retrograde plate osteosynthesis) depending on the fracture pattern. Primary bone grafting was not done in any case. The clinical outcome at 1 year was determined using the Knee Society Score (KSS). The presence of any secondary osteoarthritis in the knee joint was noted at final followup.

Results: All fractures united at a mean of 14.3 ± 4.7 weeks (range 6-26 weeks). There were no significant complications such as nonunion, deep infection, and implant failure. One of the patients underwent secondary bone grafting at 3 months. The mean range of motion of the knee was 120° ± 14.8° (range 105°-150°). Seven patients had excellent, three patients had good and two patients had a fair outcome according to the KSS at 1 year. At a mean followup of 17.6 months, three patients showed radiological evidence of secondary osteoarthritis of the knee joint. However, only one of these patients was symptomatic.

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