Surgical Technique: Achieving Reduction With Temporizing, Knee-Spanning External Fixation

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Abstract

Introduction:

Peri- and intra-articular fractures about the knee are frequently managed with joint-spanning external fixation before definitive treatment. With a systematic approach, a near-anatomic reduction with respect to length, alignment, and rotation can be obtained.

Methods:

This video highlights 2 clinical cases: a bicondylar tibial plateau fracture-dislocation and a distal femur fracture, both of which were treated with temporizing, knee-spanning external fixation.

Results:

The indications, principles, and biomechanics of knee-spanning external fixation are presented. In addition, we demonstrate a systematic approach to applying knee-spanning external fixation.

Conclusions:

Temporizing, joint-spanning external fixation is a critical treatment modality in the orthopaedic armamentarium for managing fractures about the knee. With a systematic approach, it is possible to obtain a near-anatomic reduction with respect to length, alignment, and rotation.

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