The incidence of stress fracture following peri-acetabular osteotomy: AN UNDER-REPORTED COMPLICATION

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Abstract

Stress fractures occurring in the pubis and ischium after peri-acetabular osteotomy (PAO) are not well recognised, with a reported incidence of 2% to 3%. The purpose of this study was to analyse the incidence of stress fracture after Bernese PAO under the care of two high-volume surgeons. The study included 359 patients (48 men, 311 women) operated on at a mean age of 31.1 years (15 to 56), with a mean follow-up of 26 months (6 to 64). Complete follow-up radiographs were available for 348 patients, 64 of whom (18.4%) developed a stress fracture of the inferior pubic ramus, which was noted at a mean of 9.1 weeks (5 to 55) after surgery. Most (58; 91%) healed. In 40 of the patients with a stress fracture (62.5%), pubic nonunion also occurred. Those with a stress fracture were significantly older (mean 33.9 years (16 to 50)vs30.5 years (15 to 56), p = 0.002) and had significantly more mean preoperative deformity: mean centre-edge angle (9.8° (-9.5 to 35)vs12.4° (-33 to 28), p = 0.04) and mean Tönnis angle (22.8° (0 to 45)vs18.7° (-2 to 38), p < 0.001). The pubic nonunion rate was significantly higher in those with a stress fracture (62.5%vs7%, p < 0.001), with regression analysis revealing that these patients had 11.8 times higher risk than those without nonunion.

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