JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Cannulated lag screw combined with lateral supporting plate for treatment of Hoffa fracture of Letenneur type I and type III].

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of cannulated lag screws combined with lateral supporting plates in the treatment of Hoffa fracture of Letenneur type I and type III.

METHODS: Between May 2004 and April 2011, 11 patients with Hoffa fracture of Letenneur type I and type III were treated, including 6 males and 5 females with an average age of 36 years (range, 25-47 years). Factures were caused by traffic accident in 8 cases, by falling in 2 cases, and by the other in 1 case. Fracture involved the left knee in 7 patients and the right knee in 4 patients. According Letenneur's classification criteria, there were 7 type I fractures (6 lateral condyle fractures and 1 medial condyle fracture) and 4 type III fractures (3 lateral condyle fractures and 1 medial condyle fracture). Of 11 fractures, 9 were fresh fractures and 2 were old fractures. Two 6.5 mm cannulated lag screws combined with lateral supporting plates were used to fix fractures by anterolateral or anteromedial incision.

RESULTS: All incisions achieved primary healing with no early complication. All patients were followed up 12-26 months (mean, 15 months). X-ray films showed bone healing with an average healing time of 15 weeks (range, 10-18 weeks). No loosening or breaking of internal fixator was observed; the removal time of internal fixation was 9-15 months (mean, 12 months). Accoding to Letenneur's functional assessment system, the results were excellent in 7 cases, good in 3 cases, and poor in 1 case at last follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Cannulated lag screws combined with lateral supporting plates fixation is effective in treatment of Hoffa fracture of Letenneur type I and type III with a high union rate; anterolateral or anteromedial approach is the first choice for Hoffa fracture of type I and type III, especially for complicating by tibial plateau fracture or patella fracture.

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