Computerized Navigation for the Internal Fixation of Femoral Neck Fractures

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Background: Accurate placement of cannulated screws is essential to ensure secure fixation of femoral neck fractures. We compared computerized navigation and conventional fluoroscopy with regard to the accuracy of screw placement for the fixation of femoral neck fractures.

Methods: We retrospectively compared two groups of twenty consecutive patients with a femoral neck fracture who underwent internal fixation with three cannulated screws. Computer-based navigation was used to guide screw placement in one group, and conventional fluoroscopy was used in the other group. Radiographic evaluation included the measurement of screw parallelism and spread, the calibrated distance from the lesser trochanter, and joint penetration. The follow-up period was two years. The rates of complications in both groups were evaluated.

Results: The navigation-assisted group had better screw parallelism and greater spread of the screws. There was a tendency for fewer reoperations and significantly fewer overall complications in the patients in whom computerized navigation was used (p < 0.018).

Conclusions: Computerized navigation improves the accuracy of cannulated screw placement in the internal fixation of femoral neck fractures. It may provide better mechanical stability and improved fracture outcome.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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