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Keppler, Alexander M.; Küßner, Konstantin; Schulze, Anna-Lena; Suero, Eduardo M.; Neuerburg, Carl; Weigert, Maximilian; Braun, Christian; Böcker, Wolfgang; Kammerlander, Christian and Zeckey, Christian (2021): Radiographic cortical thickness parameters as predictors of rotational alignment in proximal tibial shaft fractures: a cadaveric study. In: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Vol. 22, No. 1, 590

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AimThe treatment of tibial fractures with an intramedullary nail is an established procedure. However, torsional control remains challenging using intraoperatively diagnostic tools.Radiographic tools such as the Cortical Step Sign (CSS) and the Diameter Difference Sign (DDS) may serve as tools for diagnosing a relevant malrotation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of torsional malalignment on CSS and DDS parameters and to construct a prognostic model to detect malalignment.MethodsA proximal tibial shaft fracture was set in human tibiae. Torsion was set stepwise from 0 degrees to 30 degrees in external and internal torsion. Images were obtained with a C-arm and transferred to a PC for measuring the medical cortical thickness (MCT), lateral cortical thickness (LCT), tibial diameter (TD) in AP and the anterior cortical thickness (ACT) as well as the posterior cortical thickness (PCT) and the transverse diameter (TD) of the proximal and the distal main fragment.ResultsThere were significant differences between the various degrees of torsion for each of the absolute values of the examined variables. The parameters with the highest correlation were TD, LCT and ACT. A model combining ACT, LCT, PCT and TD lateral was most suitable model in identifying torsional malalignment. The best prediction of clinically relevant torsional malalignment, namely 15 degrees, was obtained with the TD and the ACT.ConclusionThis study shows that the CSS and DDS are useful tools for the intraoperative detection of torsional malalignment in proximal tibial shaft fractures and should be used to prevent maltorsion.

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