Bilateral avascular necrosis of the femoral head following asynchronous postictal femoral neck fractures: a case report and review of the literature

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Abstract

Bilateral avascular necrosis (AVN) following postictal bilateral fracture neck of the femur is a rare occurrence. Here, we report a case of bilateral AVN of the femoral head following an asynchronous bilateral postictal fracture neck of the femur. A 16-year-old autistic boy presented with left hip pain following an episode of seizures and radiographs showed Delbet type II fracture neck of the left femur. This was treated by closed reduction and cancellous screw fixation and skeletal traction for 6 weeks. At 3 months, follow-up radiograph showed union of the fracture, but he had developed segmental AVN with collapse of the head. At 8 months, the patient presented with pain in the right hip following another episode of seizures and radiograph of the pelvis showed a fresh Delbet type II fracture neck of the right femur with established AVN of the left femoral head. He underwent closed reduction and cancellous screw fixation of the right hip and implant exit of the left hip. At the 6-month follow-up after this surgery, his radiograph of the pelvis showed AVN with collapse and extrusion of the femoral head on the right side as well. Literature review shows an increased risk of fracture neck of the femur among epileptics. The incidence of AVN is maximum in Delbet type I, followed by Delbet type II and type III in that order. Although there are no clear guidelines on the management of post-traumatic AVN of the femoral head, the majority have reported that most of them will eventually develop arthritis and will require total hip replacement at a later date. Upon extensive literature search, no case report of bilateral fracture neck of the femur with bilateral AVN was found and hence this case was reported.

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