RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Epidemiology of Adult Distal Femoral Shaft Fractures in a Central London Major Trauma Centre Over Five Years



Akib Majed Khan*, Quen Oat Tang, Dominic Spicer
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Praed St, London, W2, UK


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© 2017 Khan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Senior House Officer, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Praed St, London, W2 1NY, Tel: 44 (0) 7774236653; E-mail: akib.khan@doctors.org.uk


Abstract

Background:

Distal femoral fractures account for 3-6% of adult femoral fractures and 0.4% of all fractures and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality rates. As countries develop inter-hospital trauma networks and adapt healthcare policy for an aging population there is growing importance for research within this field.

Methods:

Hospital coding and registry records at the central London Major Trauma Center identified 219 patients with distal femoral shaft fractures that occurred between December 2010 and January 2016. CT-Scans were reviewed resulting in exclusion of 73 inappropriately coded, 10 pediatric and 12 periprosthetic cases. Demographics, mechanism of injury, AO/OTA fracture classification and management were analyzed for the remaining 124 patients with 125 fractures. Mann Whitney U and Chi Squared tests were used during analyses.

Results:

The cases show bimodal distribution with younger patients being male (median age 65.6) compared to female (median age 71). Injury caused through high-energy mechanisms were more common in men (70.5%) whilst women sustained injuries mainly from low-energy mechanisms (82.7%) (p<0.0001). Majority of fractures were 33-A (52.0%) followed by 33-B (30.4%) and 33-C (17.6%). Ninety-two (73.6%) underwent operative management. The most common operation was locking plates (64.1%) followed by intramedullary nailing (19.6%).

Interpretation:

The epidemiology of a rare fracture pattern with variable degrees of complexity is described. A significant correlation between biological sex and mechanism of injury was identified. The fixation technique favored was multidirectional locking plates. Technical requirements for fixation and low prevalence of 33-C fractures warrant consideration of locating treatment at centers with high caseloads and experience.

Keywords: Traumatic Knee Injuries, Femoral Fractures, Epidemiology, Distal Femur, Adult, Trauma.