Executive Editor: Chris Colton

Authors: Florian Gebhard, Phil Kregor, Chris Oliver

Distal femur

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Glossary

Lateral/anterolateral approach

Lateral/anterolateral approach

The lateral approach to the distal femur allows for visualization, reduction and fixation of simple articular fractures of the distal femur.

Lateral parapatellar approach

Lateral parapatellar approach

The lateral parapatellar approach provides a good view of the articular surface of the distal femur. With a longitudinal division of the quadriceps tendon and extensor mechanism, the patella can be dislocated medially.

The arthroscopic approach is only recommended in minimally, or nondisplaced, fractures in young patients.

Arthroscopic approach

The arthroscopic approach is only recommended in minimally, or nondisplaced, fractures in young patients. Advanced experience in arthroscopic surgery is essential.

Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) approach to the distal femur from lateral/anterolateral

MIPO approach

The lateral minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) approach combines a short version of the open lateral approach to the distal femur, a minimally invasive approach to the midshaft or, proximal femoral region and small 1.0 – 1.5 cm wide stab incisions.

Medial approach

Medial approach

The medial approach to the distal femur is useful to expose a medial distal femoral fractures, a Hoffa-type fracture, osteochondroma, or a neoplastic lesion of bone.

Retrograde nailing approach

Retrograde nailing approach

Care should be taken with the approach for retrograde nailing as several anatomical structures are at risk. The most important potential hazard is damage to the posterior cruciate ligament.

Posterior approach

Posterior approach

The neurovascular structures of the knee joint are at risk during the posterior approach. They are located between the two femoral condyles and the heads of the gastrocnemius muscle.

Medial parapatellar approach

Medial parapatellar approach

Make a longitudinal, slightly oblique medial parapatellar incision along a line starting 5 cm above the superior pole of the patella to the tibial tubercle.

Safe zones

Safe zones

Inserting percutaneous instrumentation through safe zones reduces the risk of damage to neurovascular structures.

v1.0 2008-12-03