A variety of methods has been described to stabilise periprosthetic fractures around total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Our report offers a review of the actual strategies in the reduction and fixation of these fractures. Surgical treatment should be based on the following four steps:Diagnostics: By taking the patients' history together with an X-ray of the knee and femur, the fracture is analysed. It is crucial to define whether any losening of the prosthesis had occurred. In selected cases, CT-scan may add important information on the stability of the implant.Classification and planning: For most fractures around the distal femur, the Rorabeck classification is used while fractures around the proximal tibia are best classified according to the Felix classification. Additionally the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) may be helpful in the planning process for reduction and fixation.Surgigal technique: In fractures around a stable implant (Rorabeck type I and II; Felix type A and C), it is favourable to use plates and retrograde nails (in Rorabeck I or II with an open box of a TKA). For reduction, three methods are available: (a) the open technique (with direct or indirect reduction); (b) the mini open technique (direct reduction of the fracture by cerclage or lag screw and percutaneous plate fixation in OTA type 32 or 33-A1) and (c) the minimally invasive technique (indirect reduction and percutaneous fixation in all other OTA types). Fractures with a loose prosthesis (Rorabeck III and Felix B) are best stabilised by hinged revision arthroplasty.Rehabilitation: It is of great importance for the aged patient to be mobilised out of bed early. In most of the cases, partial weight bearing has to be performed by the aid of frames during the first 6 weeks after surgery. In a well-fixed revision prosthesis with a cemented stem, early full weight bearing might be allowed.
European Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 2013, Vol 4, Issue 2, p. 93-102