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Epidemiology and treatment of distal femoral fractures in adults


, : Epidemiology and treatment of distal femoral fractures in adults. Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica 53(6): 957-962

Fractures of the distal femur comprise 4% of all femoral fractures. The records of a consecutive series, from 1969-1976, of 135 adult patients with 137 fractures, not caused by malignant disease, were reviewed for age, sex, previous disease, type of fracture, treatment and end-result. Eighty-four per cent of the patients were over 50 yr of age, 19% had other general factors predisposing them to fracture, and 42% had previous or current disease of the fractured leg. Eighty-three fractures were caused by moderate and 52 by severe trauma. Unicondylar fractures were separated into lateral or medial type. Ten fractures were open and 45 were operated on primarily, mostly using condylar plates, screws or Rush pins. Satisfactory results (pain-free knee without angular deformity and at least 90.degree. of motion) were achieved in two-thirds of the fractures following both non-surgical and surgical treatment. However, the surgical group was an average of 8 yr younger and contained a higher proportion of bicondylar fractures than the nonsurgical group. Treatment in traction involved a mean period of 7 wk for 47 patients. This expensive treatment is no longer used for femoral neck, trochanteric or shaft fractures. In distal femoral fractures the goal should also be early mobilization, if necessary using surgical treatment.

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Accession: 005375823

PMID: 7180408

DOI: 10.3109/17453678208992855

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