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In a prospective study conducted between 1992 and 1995, displaced Müller type C2–C3 intraarticular fractures of the distal femur were treated using an indirect plate fixation technique and a lateral parapatellar arthrotomy for the direct reduction of the condylar block. There were 6 closed, and 2 open fractures (1 grade II and 1 grade IIIB). Following reconstruction of the articular block, the block was indirectly reduced and fixed to the shaft by a plate inserted by the retrograde method beneath the vastus lateralis. Transcutaneous/transmuscular screws were used to fix the plate to the shaft. Time to bone healing was 12 weeks (median range 8–17 weeks) after surgery without needing primary or secondary bone grafts. There were no infections or refractures. Except for one case which required a corrective osteotomy for 10° of varus malalignment, there were no revisions. According to the Neer score, there were 6 excellent or satisfactory results, 2 unsatisfactory results, and no failures. At follow-up, there were 2 varus-valgus deformities greater than 5°, 2 leg length discrepancies greater than 10 mm, and 2 rotational deformities of 15°.
The treatment results for complex supracondylar/intracondylar fractures of the distal femur obtained with this technique compare favourably with other reported series using different techniques without the added morbidity associated with autogenous bone grafting. However, the surgical technique is demanding and special care must be taken to ensure correct axial alignment.
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