Arthroscopically Assisted Percutaneous Screw Fixation of Tibial Plateau Fractures

Justin T. Jabara, Arthur J. Only, T. Zach Paull, Kelsey L. Wise, Marc F. Swiontkowski, Mai P. Nguyen

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Background: Tibial plateau fractures account for approximately 1% to 2% of fractures in adults1. These fractures exhibit a bimodal distribution as high-energy fractures in young patients and low-energy fragility fractures in elderly patients. The goal of operative treatment is restoration of joint stability, limb alignment, and articular surface congruity while minimizing complications such as stiffness, infection, and posttraumatic osteoarthritis. Open reduction and internal fixation with direct visualization of the articular reduction or indirect evaluation with fluoroscopy has traditionally been the standard treatment for displaced tibial plateau fractures. However, there has been concern regarding inadequate visualization of the articular surface with open tibial plateau fracture fixation, contributing to a fivefold increase in conversion to total knee arthroplasty2. In addition, the risk of wound complications and infection has been reported to be as high as 12%3,4. Knee arthroscopy with percutaneous, cannulated screw fixation provides a less invasive procedure with excellent visualization of the articular surface and allows for accurate reduction and fracture fixation compared with traditional open reduction and internal fixation techniques1. Recent studies of arthroscopically assisted percutaneous screw fixation of tibial plateau fractures have reported excellent early clinical and radiographic outcomes and low complication rates3,5,6. Description: This technique involves the use of both arthroscopy and fluoroscopy to facilitate reduction and fixation of the tibial plateau fracture. Through a minimally invasive technique, the depressed articular joint surface is targeted with use of preoperative computed tomography (CT) scans and intraoperative biplanar fluoroscopy. Reduction is then directly visualized with arthroscopy and fixation is performed with use of fluoroscopy. Lastly, restoration of the articular surface is confirmed with use of arthroscopy after definitive fixation. Modifications can be made as needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21.00026
JournalJBJS Essential Surgical Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

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