Better functional outcomes for ORIF in tibial eminence fracture treatment: a national comparative multicentric study of ORIF vs ARIF

  • Pailhé Régis
  • Bauer Thomas
  • Flecher Xavier
  • Bonnevialle Nicolas
  • Roussignol Xavier
  • Saragaglia Dominique
  • Ehlinger Matthieu


Purpose Tibial eminence fractures can occur in adults and are equivalent to an acute ACL rupture. The purpose of this retrospective study was to compare the therapeutic outcomes of ARIF versus ORIF in tibial eminence fractures. Our hypothesis was that ARIF does not offer better results. Methods A retrospective national multicentric study was conducted in five university hospitals between 2010 and 2015. A total of 65 consecutive patients were included. 33 patients were treated with ARIF and 32 with ORIF. Clinical functional outcomes were assessed using the Lysholm score and IKDC score. Radiographic findings were recorded, and a statistical analysis carried out. Results IKDC score at the mean last follow-up of 68.8 ± 11.8 months was significantly higher in the ORIF group with a mean difference of 20.2 points ± 8.9 (p = 0.028). There were early osteoarthritis findings in 12 patients (18.4%). At last follow-up, 7 patients (10.7%) presented complications. Conclusion In this retrospective multicentric study, better functional outcomes were observed in the ORIF group. This difference needs to be carefully interpreted as many confounding factors exist. In terms of complications, the results for both ORIF and ARIF are similar at midterm follow-up. ORIF should remain gold standard for tibial eminence fracture treatment. Level of evidence III.