Current Uses of the Transtrochanteric Approach to the Hip: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background:

The indications and technique for the transtrochanteric approach to the hip have evolved greatly since its initial popularization in the 1960s. The purpose of this systematic review was to assess current uses of this approach on the basis of indications, osteotomy technique, trochanteric fixation method, complications, and functional outcome.

Methods:

A comprehensive search of MEDLINE and Embase databases from January 2000 to July 2017 was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Articles were divided into 3 major categories on the basis of the type of hip surgery performed: (1) primary arthroplasty, (2) revision arthroplasty, and (3) joint-preserving procedures. Patient data were then analyzed according to these 3 categories.

Results:

Seventy-six studies (5,028 hips), mainly of Level-IV evidence, were included. Four types of osteotomy were reported for a variety of indications. Rates of nonunion were 6.0% (303 of 5,028) across all studies, 4.2% (39 of 921) for primary arthroplasty, 6.7% (114 of 1,690) for revision arthroplasty, and 4.4% (56 of 1,278) for joint-preserving procedures. Rates of dislocation were 1.5% (14 of 921) for primary arthroplasty and 4.6% (77 of 1,690) for revision arthroplasty. The rate of osteonecrosis after joint-preserving procedures was 1.1% (14 of 1,278). Rates of deep infection were 1.1% (55 of 5,028) across all studies, 0.1% (1 of 921) for primary arthroplasty, 2.1% (36 of 1,690) for revision arthroplasty, and 0.6% (8 of 1,278) for joint-preserving procedures.

Conclusions:

The transtrochanteric approach remains useful in cases requiring extensile exposure of the acetabulum or femoral medullary canal. However, trochanteric complications continue to pose a clinical challenge.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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