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Anterior Knee Pain After Tibial Nailing

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
University of Zagreb Identifier:
First received: April 14, 2010
Last updated: April 19, 2010
Last verified: April 2010
Anterior knee pain (AKP) is a common complication following intramedullary (IM) nailing of a tibial shaft fracture. The purpose of this prospective study was to determine if there is an association between AKP and nail position. The investigators have analyzed postoperative outcome results and the possible relationship between AKP according to the visual-analog scale (VAS) scale, and nail position marked as a distance from the tip of the nail to the tibial plateau (NP) and tuberositas tibiae (NT), measured postoperatively on L-L knee X-rays.

Condition Intervention
Knee Pain Procedure: Tibial intramedullary nailing

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Nail Position Has an Influence on Anterior Knee Pain After Tibial Intramedullary Nailing

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Zagreb:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Anterior knee pain [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
    Anterior knee pain was assessed postoperatively with the visual analog scale (VAS). Patients generally had pain when kneeling, at the insertion point of surgical screws, or at the back of knee upon flexing.

Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: January 2006
Study Completion Date: December 2009
Primary Completion Date: December 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Groups/Cohorts Assigned Interventions
Tibial shaft fractures
Patients had tibial shaft fractures in the last 3 years. All were treated with intramedullary (IM) reamed nails with 2 or 3 interlocking screws.
Procedure: Tibial intramedullary nailing
Patients' operations were performed using the peritendinous approach. A medial longitudinal incision was made, with care being taken not to damage the patellar tendon or its sheath. Standard proximal and distal locking screws were used. All patients were given postoperative instructions for thigh muscle rehabilitation and the same physiotherapy was performed after IM nailing during hospitalization. Nails were removed from some of the patients with the presence of knee pain or pain at the insertion points of the locking screws, however, no nails were removed earlier than one year postoperatively. Proof of the healed bone fracture was confirmed by radiologic examination.
Other Names:
  • tibial fractures
  • intramedullary nailing

Detailed Description:

The aim of this study was to determine the possible relationship between anterior knee pain (AKP) and nail position marked as a distance from tip of nail to tibial plateau (NP) and to the tuberositas tibiae (NT).

We evaluated postoperative outcome results of 50 patients in the last 3 years with healed fractures initially treated with intramedullary (IM) reamed nails with 2 or 3 interlocking screws on both parts of the nail and with the use of medial peritendinous incision for nail entry portal. Patients marked a point on the visual analog scale (VAS) that corresponded to the level of postoperative AKP felt. Two groups of patients were formed on the basis of AKP (pain level was neglected): groups A and B, with and without pain, respectively.

We found that the difference between the two groups concerning NP measurements was statistically significant, but not concerning NT measurements (P < 0.05). Patients were classified by pain with high accuracy (98%) according to a classification tree.

We conclude that the symptoms of AKP did not appear if the tip of the nail position was more than 6.0 mm from the NP and more than 2.6 mm from the NT. However, for better evaluation of these results it will be necessary to examine more postoperative patients with AKP.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
The population consists of primary care hospital trauma patients with tibial shaft fractures treated with intramedullary nailing.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • tibial shaft fractures
  • fracture treatment with intramedullary nailing with 2 or 3 interlocking screws on both ends of the nail

Exclusion Criteria:

  • amputated legs
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01106963

University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Department of Traumatology
Zagreb, Croatia, 10000
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Zagreb
Principal Investigator: Nikica Darabos, MD, PhD University of Zagreb School of Medicine
  More Information

Responsible Party: General Hospital Varazdin, National Health Insurance Identifier: NCT01106963     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AKP
Study First Received: April 14, 2010
Last Updated: April 19, 2010

Keywords provided by University of Zagreb:
tibial fractures
intramedullary nailing processed this record on July 19, 2017