Eşref Selçuk, Murat Erem, Cem Çopuroğlu, Mert Özcan, Mert Çiftdemir

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Trakya University Faculty of Medicine, Edirne, Türkiye

Keywords: Classification, health care, outcome assessment, tibial plateau fractures.


Objectives: This study aimed to compare the AO, Schatzker, and Three-Column classification systems for tibial plateau fractures, focusing on their prognostic and functional outcome prediction and influence on clinical decisions across different trauma types.

Patients and methods: In this retrospective study, we examined 49 patients (36 males, 11 females; mean age: 40.6±11.8 years; range, 19 to 67 years) with tibial plateau fractures between January 2011 and January 2017. The fractures were classified using the AO, Schatzker, and three-column systems. The main outcome measurements included functional scores (Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score [KOOS], Hospital for Special Surgery [HSS]), range of motion (ROM), duration of hospitalization, thigh atrophy, operation time, and the development of osteoarthritis. The impact of smoking was also assessed.

Results: According to the AO classification, type B fractures obtained higher KOOS and HSS scores compared to type C fractures (p=0.013 and p=0.007, respectively). According to the Schatzker classification low-energy fractures achieved higher KOOS and HSS scores than high-energy fractures (p=0.013 and p=0.026, respectively). One-column fractures had higher KOOS and HSS scores compared to two-column and three-column fractures (p=0.007 and p=0.001, respectively). Two-column fractures had a lower ROM compared to other column fractures (p=0.022). Shorter hospital stays were recorded for Schatzker low-energy fractures (p=0.016), whereas higher thigh atrophy was found in Schatzker high-energy fractures (p=0.022) and AO type C fractures (p=0.018). Longer operation times were observed in AO type C fractures (p=0.037) and Schatzker high-energy fractures (p=0.017). According to the Kellgren–Lawrence classification, AO type C fractures and three-column fractures yielded worse outcomes (p=0.039 and p=0.001, respectively). Smoking had a negative impact on functional KOOS and HSS scores across all groups (p=0.022 and p=0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: This study highlights the predictive value of the AO, Schatzker, and Three-Column classification systems in determining functional outcomes and clinical data in tibial plateau fractures. Each system provides unique insights into different outcomes, suggesting their concurrent application may yield a more comprehensive prognosis.

Citation: Selçuk E, Erem M, Çopuroğlu C, Özcan M, Çiftdemir M. Comparison of AO, Schatzker, and three-column classification systems in tibial plateau fractures: Impact on functional outcomes. Jt Dis Relat Surg 2024;35(1):112-120. doi: 10.52312/jdrs.2023.1256.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Trakya University Faculty of Medicine Scientific Research Ethics Committee (date: 21.05.2018, no: 09/13). The study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Author Contributions

Idea/concept and design: E.S.; Data collection and/or processing: E.S.; Control/supervision and analysis and/or interpretation: C.Ç., M.E., E.S.; Literature review: E.S., M.E.; Writing the article: E.S. Critical review: M.Ö., M.Ç., References and fundings: E.S, C.Ç.; Materials: M.Ç., M.Ö.

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.