This study aimed to determine the long-term functional, clinical and radiological outcomes in patients with Schatzker IV to VI fractures of the tibial plateau treated with an Ilizarov frame. Clinical, functional and radiological assessment was carried out at a minimum of one year post-operatively. A cohort of 105 patients (62 men, 43 women) with a mean age of 49 years (15 to 87) and a mean follow-up of 7.8 years (1 to 19) were reviewed. There were 18 type IV, 10 type V and 77 type VI fractures. All fractures united with a mean time to union of 20.1 weeks (10.6 to 42.3). No patient developed a deep infection. The median range of movement (ROM) of the knee was 110° and the median Iowa score was 85.
Our study demonstrates good long-term functional outcome with no deep infection; spanning the knee had no detrimental effect on the ROM or functional outcome.
High-energy fractures of the tibial plateau may be treated effectively with a fine wire Ilizarov fixator.