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.
- Lower-extremity fracture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine