Double-plating of comminuted, unstable fractures of the distal part of the femur.

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The cases of nine patients who had a complex fracture of the distal part of the femur and a deficient medial-cortical buttress were reviewed. Stable fixation was not achieved with the lateral condylar buttress plate alone. Collapse of the distal fragment into varus angulation was noted intraoperatively, with the axis of rotation being the junction of the distal screws and the plate. Additional stabilization with a medial plate and a bone graft from the iliac crest was applied in all nine patients: in six, at the time of the index operation and in the remaining three, after the open wound and open fracture were considered clean. At an average duration of follow-up of twenty-six months (range, twenty-one to thirty-four months), all of the fractures had healed. Evaluation of the functional outcome revealed five good and four fair results. In three patients, less than 90 degrees of flexion of the knee was present and in six, the arc of flexion was limited to between 90 and 100 degrees. Additionally, four patients had an extensor lag of 5 degrees.

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