Abstract

Purpose: To determine the clinical and radiological outcomes of patients who underwent arthroscopic reduction and internal fixation of a tibial eminence avulsion fracture with Kirshner wires (K-wires) at a mean of 8 years following surgery.

Methods: This was a retrospective study with prospectively collected data. Inclusion criteria consisted of patients who underwent arthroscopic reduction and internal fixation of tibial eminence fracture with K-wires between 1989 and 2015 at a minimum of 18 months follow-up. Assessment included the International Knee Documentation Committee Ligament Evaluation, Lysholm Knee Score, and clinical outcomes. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed to evaluate the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and evidence of osteoarthritis.

Results: A total of 48 participants met the inclusion criteria, and 32 were reviewed at a mean of 8 years (range, 18-260 months) after surgery. The mean age at the time of surgery was 24.5 years (10-55 years). Subsequent ACL injury occurred in 5 participants (10.4%) on the index knee and in 1 participant also on the contralateral knee; 86% had a normal examination, and no patients had >5-mm side-to-side difference on instrumented testing. The mean International Knee Documentation Committee subjective score at 8 years was 86 (range, 40-100). On MRI scan assessment for osteoarthritic changes at final follow-up, 82% of participants had no evidence of chondral wear on the medial compartment and 73% had no changes in the lateral compartment according to Magnetic Resonance Image Osteoarthritis Knee Score classification. On MRI scan qualitative assessment of ACL and tibial eminence, 7 participants (32%) were found to have high signal at the fracture site. The mean medial tibial eminence height was 9.2 mm (range, 6.3 mm to 1.31 cm) and the lateral tibial eminence height was an average of 6.7 mm (range, 0.38-0.97 mm). Significant kneeling pain was reported by 8 participants (25%).

Conclusions: This study indicates that internal fixation with K-wires is an acceptable approach to reduce tibial eminence avulsion fractures, providing excellent clinical and radiological outcomes at a minimum of 18 months of follow-up.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.

Keywords

arthroscopy, reduction and internal fixation of a tibial eminence avulsion fracture, Kirshner wires (K-wires), clinical and radiological outcomes

Available for download on Thursday, April 09, 2020

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