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Bormann, Markus; Neidlein, Claas; Neidlein, Niels; Ehrl, Dennis; Jörgens, Maximilian; Berthold, Daniel P.; Böcker, Wolfgang; Holzapfel, Boris Michael; Fürmetz, Julian (2023): High Prevalence of Persistent Measurable Postoperative Knee Joint Laxity in Patients with Tibial Plateau Fractures Treated by Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF). Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12 (17): 5580. ISSN 2077-0383

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The development of post-traumatic osteoarthrosis after tibial plateau fracture (TPF) is multifactorial and can only be partially influenced by surgical treatment. There is no standardized method for assessing pre- and postoperative knee joint laxity. Data on the incidence of postoperative laxity after TPF are limited. The purpose of this study was to quantify postoperative laxity of the knee joint after TPF. Fifty-four patients (mean age 51 ± 11.9 years) were included in this study. There was a significant increase in anterior–posterior translation in 78.0% and internal rotation in 78.9% in the injured knee when compared to the healthy knee. Simple fractures showed no significant difference in laxity compared to complex fractures. When preoperative ligament damage and/or meniscal lesions were present and surgically treated by refixation and/or bracing, patients showed higher instability when compared to patients without preoperative ligament and/or meniscal damage. Patients with surgically treated TPF demonstrate measurable knee joint laxity at a minimum of 1 year postoperatively. Fracture types have no influence on postoperative laxity. This emphasizes the importance of recognizing TPF as a multifaceted injury involving both complex fractures and damage to multiple ligaments and soft tissue structures, which may require further surgical intervention after osteosynthesis.

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