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The outcomes of surgical treatment for lateral Hoffa fracture nonunions

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2022 Jun 20. doi: 10.1007/s00402-022-04503-4. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Lateral Hoffa nonunion are rare injuries. A significant percentage of these nonunions are due to missed acute lateral Hoffa fractures. Operative management of these injuries is difficult and complicated by the presence of bone loss, infection, and soft-tissue contractures. In this study, the aim was to assess clinical and functional outcome in our group of patients with lateral Hoffa nonunion who had undergone operative management and to determine whether variables such as fracture type, infection, and previous surgery affect nonunion/complication rates.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were analyzed for patients with lateral Hoffa nonunion who underwent surgical fixation from January 2008 to December 2020 at a tertiary-care referral center. Patients with lateral condyle Hoffa nonunion and having a minimal follow-up of 1 year were included in this study. Patients with medial Hoffa nonunion, pathological fractures, and children aged less than 16 years were excluded from the study. The fractures were classified by the AO/OTA and Letenneur classification systems. Clinical and functional outcomes were assessed by the Knee society score (KSS) and the lower extremity functional scale (LEFS).

RESULTS: All the 12 patients had united in our series. One patient had reduction failure at 3 months who united after re-fixation. The union rate in our patients was 100%, with a loss of reduction rate of 7.7%, and post-traumatic arthrosis of 7.7%. The average follow-up period was 52.16 ± 27.7 months. The mean knee flexion obtained at the final follow-up was 104.5° (80°-130°). The average KSS clinical score was 80.6 (65-88). The average KSS functional score was 92 (70-100). The average LEFS score was 71 (47-79). There is a statistically significant improvement in the knee range of motion in our patients (p = 0.001). However, no correlation could be detected between variables like type of fracture, infection, and previous surgeries and outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Lateral Hoffa nonunion can be managed with careful planning of surgical approaches and fixation techniques.

PMID:35723709 | DOI:10.1007/s00402-022-04503-4

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