Outcomes following surgical treatment of periprosthetic femur fractures: a single centre series

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Abstract

Background

Periprosthetic femoral fracture after total hip arthroplasty (THA) is an increasing clinical problem and a challenging complication to treat surgically. The aim of this retrospective study was to review the treatment of periprosthetic fractures and the complication rate associated with treatment at our institution.

Methods

We reviewed the cases of patients with periprosthetic femoral fractures treated between January 2004 and June 2009. We used the Vancouver classification to assess fracture types, and we identified the surgical interventions used for these fracture types and the associated complications.

Results

We treated 45 patients with periprosthetic femoral fractures during the study period (15 men, 30 women, mean age 78 yr). Based on Vancouver classification, 2 patients had AL fractures, 9 had AG, 15 had B1, 24 had B2, 2 had B3 and 4 had C fractures. Overall, 82% of fractures united with a mean time to union of 15 (range 2–64) months. Fourteen patients (31%) had complications; 11 of them had a reoperation: 6 to treat an infection, 6 for nonunion and 2 for aseptic femoral component loosening.

Conclusion

Periprosthetic fractures are difficult to manage. Careful preoperative planning and appropriate intraoperative management in the hands of experienced surgeons may increase the chances of successful treatment. However, patients should be counselled on the high risk of complications when presenting with this problem.

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