Biomechanical Testing of a 3-Hole Versus a 4-Hole Sliding Hip Screw in the Presence of a Retrograde Intramedullary Nail for Ipsilateral Intertrochanteric and Femur Shaft Fractures

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The goal of this study was to compare a 3-hole versus a 4-hole sliding hip screw (SHS) in the presence of a retrograde intramedullary (RIM) nail for fixing intertrochanteric and comminuted midshaft femur fractures.


Mechanical tests were performed on 10 matched pairs of human cadaveric femurs that were osteotomized and then fixed using a 3-hole SHS versus the traditional “gold standard” 4-hole SHS in the presence of an RIM nail.


Data showed no differences between the 3-hole SHS with RIM nail versus 4-hole SHS with RIM nail for stiffness (281 ± 127 vs. 260 ± 118 N/mm, P = 0.76), clinical failure at 10 mm of hip displacement (2014 ± 363 vs. 2134 ± 614 N, P = 0.52), or ultimate mechanical failure (3476 ± 776 vs. 3669 ± 755 N, P = 0.12).


For this fracture pattern, a 3-hole SHS with RIM nail may be a suitable surgical alternative to the traditional “gold standard” method because it provides the same biomechanical properties while potentially reducing surgical time, blood loss, and hardware used.

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