Comparison of Outcomes of Operatively Treated Bicondylar Tibial Plateau Fractures by External Fixation and Internal Fixation
The outcome of bicondylar tibial plateau fractures treated with either external fixation (35 patients) or internal fixation (24 patients) was reviewed. Outcome measures included the Rasmussen score, clinical complications, development of osteoarthritis and the requirement for total knee replacement (TKR). Twenty-two (92%) anatomical reductions were achieved in the internal fixation group compared to 27 (77%) in the external fixation group. Infective complications were more common in the external fixation group (9 patients, 26%) due to pin tract infection. There were no deep infections in the internal fixation group. The mean Rasmussen score was not significantly different (mean score 32 in external fixation and 29 in internal fixation) between the two groups and the incidence of osteoarthritis was the same in both groups. Four patients in the external fixation group underwent a TKR compared to 5 patients in the internal fixation group. Bicondylar tibial plateau fractures have similar outcomes following external or internal fixation.
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