To compare outcomes of patients with posterior tibial plateau fractures who underwent repair indirectly with an anterior approach to those who underwent direct repair with a prone “Lobenhoffer” operative approach.
A total of 44 patients with a posterior column tibial plateau fracture that underwent repair were identified. Twenty-two patients with 22 tibial plateau fractures were fixed using a prone Lobenhoffer approach. They were compared to 22 patients treated with an indirect reduction using a supine approach for similar fracture patterns. Data collection at minimum 1 year included: patient-reported outcome scores (SMFA), patient-reported pain, knee range of motion, complications and need for reoperation. Radiographs were reviewed for knee alignment, residual depression and fracture healing.
All demographics were similar between the groups except BMI, which was lower in the prone group (P < 0.05). Fracture type according to age, Schatzker and three-column classification was matched between cohorts. There was no difference in outcomes including: pain, radiographic knee alignment, residual articular depression, functional outcome (SMFA), complications and need for reoperations. Knee flexion at 1 year was greater in the prone group (127.8 vs. 115.8; P = 0.018). In addition, surgical time was less in the prone group (mean 73.7 min vs. 82.3 min; P = 0.015).
The Lobenhoffer approach with direct reduction of posterior fracture fragments for complex tibial plateau fractures is an excellent option for these injuries. It allowed for faster surgery with improved ultimate knee range of motion in posterior column tibial plateau fractures.