[Fractures of the knee joint in the elderly: osteosynthesis versus joint replacement].
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
BACKGROUND: The aim of open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of fractures around the knee joint is the exact anatomic reconstruction of joint surfaces in order to achieve an early and load stable bone situation. Primary endoprosthetics as the initial treatment can represent an alternative treatment option for a closely selected number of geriatric patients. OBJECTIVES: The chances and risks of primary endoprosthetics in comparison to ORIF as the gold standard for initial treatment of fractures close to the knee joint in the elderly are presented MATERIAL AND METHODS: A selective search of the literature was carried out in consideration of national recommendations and own experience gained as head of a center for geriatric traumatology. RESULTS: If the soft tissue coverage is not damaged by the injury, primary endoprosthetics can offer advantages compared to ORIF when a load stable joint is indispensable due to poor compliance, pre-existing arthritis and advanced age. DISCUSSION: The risk of postoperative loss of correction is minimized by the prosthesis but the revision possibilities are very limited due to voluminous prostheses with a high degree of coupling. The indications for primary prosthesis implantation for acute treatment of fractures close to the knee should therefore be closely controlled because this should be the first and last intervention for fracture treatment in geriatric patients.