Executive Editor: Chris Colton

Authors: Florian Gebhard, Phil Kregor, Chris Oliver

Distal femur

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There is no preparation associated with the therapy you selected. However, the list below shows all available preparations.

Supine position

Place the patient supine on a radiolucent table. A small bolster can be placed beneath the buttock to prevent external rotation of the lower extremity.

Supine position knee flexed 30°

The supine position with the knee flexed 30° provides good support for the knee and relaxes the tendency of the gastrocnemius muscle to pull the condyles into hyperextension. It has the disadvantage that, for lateral image intensifier use, the limb may need to be lifted up.

Supine position on a split table

The supine position on a split table fully extends the knee and relaxes the knee extensor muscles. This is useful when vastus lateralis has to be retracted forwards. It is also the position of choice for patellar fractures and disruptions of the extensor mechanism.

Supine - unilateral leg support

The supine position with unilateral leg support offers excellent image intensifier access for the lateral views. It also allows the surgeon to vary the degree of flexion of the knee at different stages of the procedure. A surgical assistant is needed to hold the lower leg in the correct position throughout the operation.

Supine position knee flexed 90°

In the supine position with the knee flexed 90° it is fully supported, which helps the surgeon who has little, or no, intraoperative assistance. It tightens the extensor muscles and limits vastus lateralis retraction. It is well suited to procedures requiring lateral patellar dislocation. Beware prolonged pressure on the popliteal neurovascular bundle.

Supine position for arthroscopy

Place the patient supine on the operation table. Use a thigh support to bring the knee into flexion of at least 30°.

Position the patient prone on a radiolucent table. Place cushions under the chest, pelvis, distal thigh, ankle and eyes, to avoid pressure sores.

Prone position

The prone position is used for posterior approaches to the popliteal area, or for the repair of posterior wounding, neurovascular surgery, etc.

v1.0 2008-12-03