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Intertrochanteric hip fractures have high morbidity and mortality rates. The purpose of this study was to determine if minimally invasive plating, nailing, or external fixation operations lead to improved outcomes for intertrochanteric hip fractures compared with standard insertion of a sliding hip screw (SHS).A systematic search of MEDLINE (1996 to June 2007) and EMBASE (1980 to June 2007) was performed. Results were limited to English language studies. References from eligible studies were reviewed to identify additional studies.Studies were selected for review based on the following criteria: prospective or retrospective studies comparing minimally invasive plating, nailing, or external fixation to standard insertion of an SHS, exclusion of intracapsular and subtrochanteric hip fractures, and report of outcome data by treatment group to allow for comparison.The following outcomes were extracted from eligible studies: operative time, operative blood loss, intraoperative complications, postoperative drop in hemoglobin, postoperative pain, postoperative medical or fracture complications, wound complications, length of hospital stay, and post-fracture function.Sufficient data existed among 14 randomized controlled trials to perform a meta-analysis and calculate pooled relative risks for failure of fixation, blood transfusion, and mortality. Relative risks were calculated with 95% confidence intervals using a random-effects model, and an analysis of heterogeneity between pooled studies was conducted. Other outcome measures that were extracted from 17 comparative studies are reported as a systematic review.Although a significant heterogeneity exists between pooled studies, minimally invasive hip fracture plating, nailing, or external fixation was associated with a decrease in transfusion rate [relative risk of 0.63 as compared to standard SHS (95% confidence interval 0.41 to 0.96; I2 = 83.6%)]. There was no significant difference for the other comparisons, including mortality between minimally invasive plating, nailing, or external fixation and standard insertion of an SHS.