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Pitfalls in the Application of Distal Femur Plates for Fractures

Collinge, Cory A MD; Gardner, Michael J MD; Crist, Brett D MD

doi: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e31821d7a56
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Despite design features intended to aid the surgeon in restoring proper alignment, malunion and implant-related problems are relatively common after a distal femur fracture treated with plate fixation. This article presents case examples of these problems followed by a discussion of the relevant distal femoral anatomy, design features of modern locked distal femur plating systems, and technical points necessary to avoid malunion and implant-related problems when using these devices.

From the *Department of Orthopaedic Trauma, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital and John Peter Smith Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program, Fort Worth, TX; †Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University, St Louis, MO; and ‡Orthopedic Trauma Service, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Missouri–Columbia, Columbia, MO.

Accepted for publication October 7, 2010.

Dr. Collinge is a consultant for Biomet and Smith & Nephew, and receives royalties from Biomet, Smith & Nephew, and Advanced Orthopedic Systems. Dr. Crist receives institutional support from Synthes. Dr. Gardner is a consultant for Synthes, DGIMed, Amgen and Stryker.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Cory A. Collinge, MD, Director of Orthopaedic Trauma, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital and Staff Physician, John Peter Smith Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program, 800 5th Street, Suite 500, Fort Worth, TX 76104 (e-mail: ccollinge@msn.com).

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