Serdar Kamil Cepni, Bahattin Kemah, Muhammed Enes Karataş, Mehmet Mete Oruç, Suat Batar, Mehmet Salih Söylemez

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Ümraniye Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye

Keywords: Anterior knee pain, infrapatellar, nail, suprapatellar, tibial fracture


Objectives: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the clinical and radiological results after a minimum one-year follow-up of suprapatellar (SP) and infrapatellar (IP) nail applications for the treatment of tibial fractures.

Patients and methods: Between September 2019 and September 2021, a total of 80 patients treated for tibial fractures were retrospectively analyzed. The patients were divided into two equal groups including 40 patients in each group. The first group (32 males, 8 females; mean age: 36.4±13.2 years; range, 19 to 64 years) consisted of those who were operated using intramedullary nailing (IMN) through the SP approach (SP Group). The second group (25 males, 15 females; mean age: 34.4±13.6 years; range, 15 to 64 years) consisted of patients operated with IMN using an IP approach (IP Group). Data including the location of the fracture, duration of surgery, need for additional interventions for fracture reduction, union time, duration of follow-up, delayed union, nonunion, malunion, and infection rates were recorded. During the final follow-up, we evaluated the results for range of motion (ROM), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), score, Lysholm score, and Knee Society Score (KSS) postoperative functional outcome measure.

Results: The mean duration of follow-up in the SP and IP groups were 17.6±2.3 (range, 13 to 21) and 19.9±1.3 (range, 15 to 41) months, respectively (p=0.236). The mean duration of surgery was significantly shorter in the SP group than in the IP group (73.2±19.9 [45 to 160] min in the SP group and 152.0±28.5 [100 to 240] min in the IP group) (p=0.0001). There was no significant difference between the groups regarding duration of postoperative hospital stay, union time, and decrease in hemoglobin levels. There was no significant difference between the groups regarding Lysholm scores, KSS functional outcome scores, VAS, ROM, and thigh and calf diameter difference measured at the final follow-up. A Poller screw or provisional Kirschner wire was used for 14 (35%) of 16 diametaphyseal fractures in the IP group. No additional technique was used for any patient in SP group (p=0.001).

Conclusion: The SP application of an IMN for diaphyseal tibial fractures yields an easy and practical application, having easy reduction with shorter operative time and no need for additional techniques to achieve reduction. However, the clinical and radiological outcomes of both techniques are similar after a one-year follow-up.

Citation: Cepni SK, Kemah B, Karataş ME, Oruç MM, Batar S, Söylemez MS. Comparison of clinical and radiological results after a minimum one-year follow-up of tibial fractures operated via suprapatellar or infrapatellar intramedullary nailing: A retrospective study. Jt Dis Relat Surg 2023;34(3):679-686. doi: 10.52312/jdrs.2023.1153.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Ümraniye Training and Research Hospital Clinical Research Ethics Committee (date: 17.06.2021, no: B10.1.TKH.4.34.H.GP.0,01/206). The study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Author Contributions

Design of the study, statistical analysis, development of checklists, interpretation of data, writing of the article, drafting and revision of the article: M.S.S.; Took charge in follow-up of the patients, contributed to the acquisition the data: M.E.K., M.M.O.; Contributed to the acquisition and analysis of the data: B.K.; Contributed to the interpretation of the data and design of the research, co-writing of the article: S.K.Ç.; Contributed to the interpretation and acquisition of data. All authors critically revised the manuscript, agree to be fully accountable for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the work, and read and approved the final manuscript: S.B.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.

Data Sharing Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.