Functional Outcome of Patients With Femoral Head Fractures Associated With Hip Dislocations

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Fracture of the femoral head after hip dislocation is a relatively rare injury often associated with a poor functional outcome. Twenty-six patients who sustained femoral head fractures were evaluated using radiographs, clinical examinations, and a validated outcome scoring system. The Short Form-12 was used to assess functional outcome. Patients whose fractures were stabilized with 3-mm cannulated screws and washers had a poor functional outcome. When evaluated with an odds ratio analysis, the use of Kocher-Langenbeck posterior approach was associated with a 3.2 times higher incidence of the patients having avascular necrosis develop when compared with the Smith-Petersen approach. A literature review combined with the current series confirms that the principles of early reduction of hip dislocation, early stabilization, anatomic reduction of the fracture, and rigid fixation are critical principles to attain good results. The Brumback classification system provides superior differentiation of different fracture types when compared with the Pipkin classification. The Smith-Petersen anterior surgical approach is recommended for the majority of patients with femoral head fractures. Three-millimeter cannulated screws with threaded washers are contraindicated for use in stabilizing femoral head fractures, and should not be used in any joint because of dissociation between the screw and the washer.

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