The impact of injuries below the knee joint on the long-term functional outcome following polytrauma

B. A. Zelle, S. R. Brown, M. Panzica, R. Lohse, N. A. Sittaro, C. Krettek, H. C. Pape

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that the lower-extremities are among the most frequently injured body regions in polytrauma patients and have a major impact on the functional recovery following polytrauma. In particular, injuries to the distal part of the lower-extremity appear to be associated with a poor functional outcome. Therefore, the goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of injuries below the knee joint on the long-term functional outcome following polytrauma. Three hundred eighty-nine polytrauma patients with associated lower-extremity fractures and a minimum follow-up of 10 years were included in this study. All patients were examined by a doctor, using a patient questionnaire and a standardised physical examination. Significantly, inferior outcomes were seen in patients with fractures below the knee joint as measured by the modified Karlström-Olerud score, Lysholm score, range of motion, weight bearing status, Hannover score for polytrauma outcome (HASPOC), SF-12, Tegner activity score, and inability to work (P < 0.05). Fractures below the knee joint have a significant impact on the functional recovery following polytrauma. We suggest that delayed treatment, thin soft tissue envelope below the knee joint, high-energy trauma, unfavorable blood supply, and complex fracture patterns contribute to these unfavorable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalInjury
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Lower-extremity fracture
  • Outcome
  • Polytrauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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