08.06.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2017
A revised 3-column classification approach for the surgical planning of extended lateral tibial plateau fractures
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
- H. Hoekstra, K. Kempenaers, S. Nijs
Variable angle locking compression plates allow for lateral buttress and support of the posterolateral joint surface of tibial plateau fractures. This gives room for improvement of the surgical 3-column classification approach. Our aim was to revise and validate the 3-column classification approach to better guide the surgical planning of tibial plateau fractures extending into the posterolateral corner.
In contrast to the 3-column classification approach, in the revised approach the posterior border of the lateral column in the revised approach lies posterior instead of anterior of the fibula. According to the revised 3-column classification approach, extended lateral column fractures are defined as single lateral column fractures extending posteriorly into the posterolateral corner. CT-images of 36 patients were reviewed and classified twice online according to Schatzker and revised 3-column classification approach by five observers. The intraobserver reliability was calculated using the Cohen’s kappa and the interobserver reliability was calculated using the Fleiss’ kappa.
The intraobserver reliability showed substantial agreement according to Landis and Koch for both Schatzker and the revised 3-column classification approach (0.746 vs. 0.782 p = 0.37, Schatzker vs. revised 3-column, respectively). However, the interobserver reliability of the revised 3-column classification approach was significantly higher as compared to the Schatzker classification (0.531 vs. 0.669 p < 0.01, moderate vs. substantial agreement, Schatzker vs. revised 3-column, respectively).
With the introduction of variable angle locking compression plates, the revised 3-column classification approach is a very helpful tool in the preoperative surgical planning of tibial plateau fractures, in particular, lateral column fractures that extend into the posterolateral corner. The revised 3-column classification approach is rather a practical supplement to the Schatzker classification. It has a significantly higher interobserver reliability as compared to the Schatzker classification, most likely due to the more simple nature of the revised 3-column classification approach.