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Lateral/anterolateral approach

Lateral/anterolateral approach

Skin incision

Begin the skin incision in the mid-lateral line of the femoral shaft and curve it anteriorly over the lateral femoral condyle, towards the tibial tubercle. The proximal starting point for the skin incision depends on the most proximal extent of the fracture.

The need for a distal extension of the skin incision depends on whether or not an arthrotomy needs to be performed. If joint visualization is required, the incision is carried to the level of the tibial tubercle (dashed line). If an arthrotomy is not necessary, you can stop the skin incision approximately 1-2 cm distal to the joint line.