Does distance from joint line influence complications after distal femur fractures in native and periprosthetic knees?



      Distal femur fractures are projected to increase in incidence secondary to an aging population and growing utilization of total knee arthroplasty. Surgical management is the standard of care, but optimal treatment for far distal fractures is still unclear. Our study investigates if there are distal femur fractures too distal to be treated with lateral locked plating in periprosthetic fractures.


      One hundred and ten consecutive patients treated with locked plating for distal femur fractures around a total knee replacement were identified using CPT codes. Fractures were classified by length of the distal fracture segment and Su classification. Complications studied were nonunion, malunion, infection, further fracture related surgery, readmission within 90 days, and mortality within 1 year of surgery. Sixty six fractures met inclusion criteria of 180 days of follow-up or sustaining a complication prior to180 days.


      The size of the distal fracture segment and Su classification did not correlate with increased complication rate in periprosthetic distal femur fractures.


      There was no difference between complications following lateral locked plating of distal femur fractures based on the size of the distal fracture segment in periprosthetic fractures. Lateral locked plating is an effective treatment modality for these fractures regardless of how distal the fracture extends.


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