Mid Term Results of Distal Femoral Fractures Treated with a Polyaxial Locking Plate: A Multi-Center Study

J.B Erhardt*, 1, M Vincenti1, J Pressmar 2, F.A Kuelling 1, C Spross1, F Gebhard 2, G Roederer 2
1 Klinik für Orthopädie und Traumatologie, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Switzerland
2 Klinik für Unfall-, Hand-, Plastische-, Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Universitätsklinik Ulm, Germany

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© Erhardt et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Klinik für Orthopädie und Traumatologie, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, CH-9007 St. Gallen, Switzerland; Tel: +41 71 494 3483; E-mail:


Objective :

Locking plates have become a standard implant in the treatment of distal femoral fractures. Newer designs allow polyaxial screw placement as well as the ability to lock the lag screws.

Methods :

The consecutive multi-centre study cohort consists of all distal femoral fractures treated with the NCB® Distal Femur plate (Zimmer, Warsaw, USA) and a minimum follow-up of twelve months. Fracture classification according the AO/ OTA system and the trauma mechanism radiological evaluation and complications were documented. Clinical evaluation consisted of the Short Form SF12 questionnaire (SF12), the Hospital for Special Surgery Score (HSS) and clinical assessment of range of motion.

Results :

Twenty-five patients with twenty-six fractures were available for follow-up with a minimum required follow-up of twelve months. 81% of the fractures were intra-articular. 48% of the patients were multi-traumatised, 38% having open fractures. All except two went to union (92%) with the primary procedure. The HSS Score was 79 (32-99) and the SF 12 (physical and mental) 40 (19-57) and 54 (21-66) at follow-up. There were five patients requiring surgical revision (19%).

Conclusion :

These fractures are often combined with concomitant injuries. Using modern locked implants high union rates can be achieved with a good function and patient satisfaction when respecting biologic and biomechanical principles.

Keywords: Locking plates, polyaxial, distal femur fracture, osteosynthesis, NCB..