Suprapatellar tibial nailing: intraoperative arthroscopic evaluation and results at a minimum of 12 months follow-up


suprapatellar nailing, tibia fracture, arthroscopy, results

Published online: Apr 23 2024


Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, AZ Sint-Dimpna Geel, Geel, Belgium


To arthroscopically evaluate the intra-articular structures before and after placement of an intramedullary tibial nail using the suprapatellar approach and to assess the 1-year results.

All patients with a tibial fracture that underwent intramedullary tibial nailing using the suprapatellar approach with a minimal follow-up of 12 months were included. Diagnostic intraoperative knee arthroscopy was performed before and immediately after insertion of the IMN. A radiological and clinical evaluation and VAS score of the patients was collected postoperatively.

In total, 36 patients were included. The mean follow-up period was 14.9 ± 4.9 months. The mean age of the patients was 45.5 ± 18.8 years. The mean visual analog scale (VAS) score at 12 months was 1.0 ± 1.5. The complication rate was 19.4% and the reoperation rate was 16.7%. Union of the fractures was achieved in 33 patients (91.6%) after primary surgery after a mean of 6.1 ± 1.8 months. A change in the patellofemoral cartilage after insertion of the nail was seen in 1 patient. The suprapatellar procedure for tibia fractures resulted in excellent VAS scores and union rates at 1-year follow up, with a complication of articular damage to the PF joint in 2.8%.