These single plane, intraarticular fractures require anatomical reduction and interfragmentary compression, sufficient to allow early joint motion. The perfection of the articular reduction is usually assessed by an open approach, but where the skills and resources are available, arthroscopically assisted reduction and percutaneous fixation may be considered. The surgeon should be prepared to find additional comminution, not evident until fracture exposure.
Note on approaches
Unless full facilities and expertise for an
are available to check the closed reduction, prior to percutaneous screw insertion, the standard
medial parapatellar approach
is used to give an optimal view of the joint fracture reduction.
This procedure may be performed with the patient in one of the following positions:
Closed reduction and internal fixation (CRIF) is used in minimally displaced, or undisplaced simple, medial sagittal, partial articular fractures.
As simple, medial sagittal, partial articular fractures usually result from a varus force, the application of a valgus stress may reduce the fracture. If valgus stress alone is not sufficient, arthroscopy may be helpful to assess the accuracy of the reduction.
Temporary K-wire placement
Under image intensifier control, make a stab incision over the medial aspect
of the injured condyle and insert a temporary K-wire, to hold the
Make sure, that the K-wire does not conflict with the planned screw
Check of reduction
Check the reduction in two planes using the image intensifier.
In general, the screws are inserted at points along the midshaft axis of the
femur (dotted line). The area distal to the Blumensaat’s intercondylar roof
line must be avoided, in order not to violate the notch. In addition, the area
of the medial knee recess should be avoided.
If you need to insert a screw in the area distal to the Blumensaat’s
intercondylar roof line, direct the screw anteriorly, in order to avoid the
Insertion of guide wires
Make a separate stab incision for each screw. Bluntly dissect to the bone,
avoiding the medial recess of the knee.
Insert the appropriate guide wires for 7.3 mm cannulated screws, or
alternatively, 4.5 mm cannulated screws. Depending on the size of the fragment,
2 to 4 screws are necessary.
Guide wire position check
Use image intensifier to make sure that the tip of the K-wire just
penetrates the far cortex, slightly externally rotating the femur to profile
the sloping lateral face of the lateral condyle.
Screw length determination
Determine the appropriate screw length using the dedicated measuring
Manually insert the screws of appropriate lengths over the guide wires.
Washers may be used. Predrilling is usually not necessary if using
Then remove the temporarily placed K-wire and guide wires.
Illustration showing the completed osteosynthesis.