Character, incidence, and predictors of knee pain and activity after infrapatellar intramedullary nailing of an isolated tibia fracture
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OBJECTIVE: To study the activity and incidence of knee pain after sustaining an isolated tibia fracture treated with an infrapatellar intramedullary nail at 1 year. DESIGN: Retrospective review of prospective cohort. SETTING: Multicenter Academic and Community hospitals. PATIENTS: Four hundred thirty-seven patients with an isolated tibia fracture completed a 12-month assessment on pain and self-reported activity. INTERVENTION: Infrapatellar intramedullary nail. OUTCOMES: Demographic information, comorbid conditions, injury characteristics, and surgical technique were recorded. Knee pain was defined on a 1-7 scale with 1 being "no pain" and 7 being a "very great deal of pain." Knee pain >4 was considered clinically significant. Patients reported if they were "able," "able with difficulty," or "unable" to perform the following activities: kneel, run, climb stairs, and walk prolonged. Variables were tested in multilevel multivariable regression analyses. RESULTS: In knee pain, 11% of patients reported a "good deal" to a "very great deal" of pain (>4), and 52% of patients reported "no" or "very little" pain at 12 months. In activity at 12 months, 26% and 29% of patients were unable to kneel or run, respectively, and 31% and 35% of patients, respectively, stated they were able with difficulty or unable to use stairs or walk. CONCLUSIONS: Clinically significant knee pain (>4/7) was present in 11% of patients 1 year after a tibia fracture. Of note, 31%-71% of patients had difficulty performing or were unable to perform routine daily activities of kneeling, running, and stair climbing, or walking prolonged distances.
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