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Arthroscopic Fixation of Tibial Eminence Fractures: A Clinical Comparative Study of Nonabsorbable Sutures Versus Absorbable Suture Anchors

      Purpose

      To compare clinical outcomes of arthroscopic therapy for tibial eminence fracture with nonabsorbable suture and absorbable suture anchor.

      Methods

      Between February 2010 and September 2012, a total of 60 tibial eminence fracture patients were treated with nonabsorbable suture fixation or absorbable suture anchor fixation under arthroscopy. Patients with tibial plateau fractures and other significant injuries, including osteochondral lesions, meniscal tear, and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or mutiligament injuries, were excluded from the study. Radiographs, anterior drawer test (ADT), Lachman test, Lysholm score, and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) 2000 subjective score were employed to evaluate clinical outcomes in follow-up.

      Results

      A total of 41 patients were analyzed. Among these patients, 22 were treated with nonabsorbable suture fixation and 19 with absorbable suture anchor fixation. According to the modified Meyers-McKeever classification, 15 cases were categorized as type II, 21 as type III, and 5 as type IV fractures. The mean time from injury to surgery was 7.1 days (range, 3 to 12 days). All patients were followed up for a median period of 33.7 months (range, 24 to 45 months). Radiographic evaluation showed optimal reduction immediately after operation and bone union within 3 months in all patients. At the final follow-up, there was no limitation of knee motion range in any patient. Grade II laxity was found in 2 cases from suture group and 1 from suture anchor group, showing no significant difference based on ADT (χ2 = 0.538, P = .764) and Lachman test (χ2 = 0.550, P = .760). Lysholm and IKDC 2000 subjective scores were significantly improved (P < .001). However, there were no significant differences in the improvement of Lysholm (t = 0.522, P = .604) and IKDC 2000 subjective scores (t = 0.644, P = .523) between the 2 groups.

      Conclusions

      Nonabsorbable suture fixation and absorbable suture anchor fixation are equivalent techniques in terms of the clinical efficacy of arthroscopic tibial eminence fracture treatment.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, retrospective comparative study.
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