Pain in Anterior Knee after Locked Nailing of Diaphyseal Tibia Fractures

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The relevance of the study is determined by the high incidence of pain in the anterior knee after the locked nailing of the diaphyseal tibia fracture. The etiology and pathogenesis of this complication remain unclear. Most authors believe that the cause of this complication is a combination of several factors. Material and Methods. The study included 70 patients with consolidated diaphyseal tibia fractures undergone closed blocked nailing through the patellofemoral ligament. The results of the surgery were studied in the time frame of 2 to 4 years (average 36.96±12.05 months). Patients were divided into groups according to the presence or absence of pain in the anterior knee, the type of tibial fractures, the location of the nail in the proximal tibia metaphysis. The evaluation of the outcomes was carried out with the SF-36 questionnaire and the knee X-ray. The significance of differences in the samples was determined by the Pearson’s and Student’s criteria, and Fisher’s exact criterion. Results. The incidence of pain in the anterior knee was 46%. This complication led to a decrease in the patients’ quality of life to a greater extent and in most parameters than in the patient without pain, namely, physical components of health by 10% (p = 0.024), physical activity by 8.8% (p = 0.024), role-based functioning due to physical condition by 14.1% (p = 0.001). The intergroup analysis revealed that the extension of the end of the nail beyond the proximal tibial metaphysis was one of the factors that determeded the development the pain (p<0.05). There were differences in the frequency of pain in groups with different depths of immersion of the nail into the proximal metaphysis (p<0.05). The closer to the tibial plateau the proximal end of the nail was located, the more often the pain occurred in the postoperative period. In the patients with type C diaphyseal fractures, pain in the knee was much more common than in patients with type A and B fractures (p<0.05). Conclusion. The quality of life of the patients with pain in the anterior knee after locked nailing was characterized by a decrease in physical activity and role functioning in society. The main cause of the pain was the projection of the nail beyond the bone borders of the tibial metaphysis or the location of its proximal end in the subchondral area. The type of diaphyseal tibia fracture according to the AO / ASIF classification was a factor that determined the incidence of pain in the anterior knee.

About the authors

V. V. Pisarev

Ivanovo State Medical Academy; Ivanovo Regional Hospital for War Veterans

Author for correspondence.

Vasily V. Pisarev — Dr. Sci. (Med.), Professor, Department of Traumatology and Orthopedics, Ivanovo State Medical Academy; Head of Department, Ivanovo Regional Hospital for War Veterans


Russian Federation


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