Distal femoral fractures treated by hinged total knee replacement in elderly patients

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Although the use of constrained cemented arthroplasty to treat distal femoral fractures in elderly patients has some practical advantages over the use of techniques of fixation, concerns as to a high rate of loosening after implantation of these prostheses has raised doubts about their use. We evaluated the results of hinged total knee replacement in the treatment of 54 fractures in 52 patients with a mean age of 82 years (55 to 98), who were socially dependent and poorly mobile.Within the first year after implantation 22 of the 54 patients had died, six had undergone a further operation and two required a revision of the prosthesis. The subsequent rate of further surgery and revision was low.A constrained knee prosthesis offers a useful alternative treatment to internal fixation in selected elderly patients with these fractures, and has a high probability of surviving as long as the patient into whom it has been implanted.

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