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Bormann, Markus; Bitschi, David; Neidlein, Claas; Berthold, Daniel P.; Jörgens, Maximilian; Pätzold, Robert; Watrinet, Julius; Böcker, Wolfgang; Holzapfel, Boris Michael; Fürmetz, Julian (2023): Mismatch between Clinical–Functional and Radiological Outcome in Tibial Plateau Fractures: A Retrospective Study. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12 (17): 5583. ISSN 2077-0383

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Background: The evaluation of tibial plateau fractures (TPF) encompasses the assessment of clinical–functional and radiological parameters. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the potential correlation between these parameters by utilizing both the clinical–functional and the modified radiological Rasmussen score. Methods: In this retrospective monocentric study conducted at a level-I trauma center, patients who underwent surgery between January 2014 and December 2019 due to a TPF were included. The clinical–functional Rasmussen score prior to the injury, at 1-year postoperatively, and during the last follow-up (minimum 18 months) was assessed using a standardized questionnaire. Additionally, the modified radiological Rasmussen score was determined at the 1-year postoperative mark using conventional radiographs in two planes. Results: A total of 50 patients were included in this study, comprising 40% (n = 20) men, and 60% (n = 30) women, with an average age of 47 ± 11.8 years (range 26–73 years old). Among them, 52% (n = 26) had simple fractures (classified according to Schatzker I–III), while 48% (n = 24; according to Schatzker IV–VI) had complex fractures. The mean follow-up was 3.9 ± 1.6 years (range 1.6–7.5 years). The functional Rasmussen score assessed before the injury and at follow-up showed an “excellent” average result. However, there was a significant difference in the values of complex fractures compared to before the injury. One year postoperatively, both the clinical–functional score and the modified radiological score demonstrated a “good” average result. The “excellent” category was more frequently observed in the functional score, while the “fair” category was more common in the radiological score. There was no agreement between the categories in both scores in 66% of the cases. Conclusions: The data from this retrospective study demonstrated that patients with TPF are able to achieve a nearly equivalent functional level in the medium-term after a prolonged recovery period, comparable to their pre-injury state. However, it is important to note that the correlation between clinical–functional and radiological parameters is limited. Consequently, in order to create prospective outcome scores, it becomes crucial to objectively assess the multifaceted nature of TPF injuries in more detail, both clinically and radiologically.

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