Optimal plate fixation of distal femoral fractures in the presence of a well fixed cemented hip arthroplasty femoral stemKempthorne, J., Kieser, D. C., & Walker, C. G. (2018).
The requirement for lateral plate fixation in the presence of a hip arthroplasty stem is increasing, yet the optimal plate construct necessary to reduce inter-prosthetic strain and prevent subsequent fractures is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the optimal position of a lateral femoral plate in relation to a femoral stem.
We used 4th Generation Composite Sawbones®, a collarless polished cemented femoral stem and a broad Peri-loc™ plate with varying overlap of the stem. Each construct was subjected to torsion, axial compression and 3-point lateral bending, with the strain measured at the tip of the femoral stem and the force-to-failure recorded.
In all three loading directions a plate, which extended at least two shaft diameters proximal to the tip of the stem, experienced the lowest strain (p < 0.001). Constructs with no overlap, and particularly those with a small gap between the tip of the stem and the proximal extent of the plate experienced the highest strain (p < 0.001). This high strain resulted in lower forces required to cause fracture in the clinically significant scenarios of femoral torsion and lateral bending.
Optimal plate fixation is achieved by extending a lateral femoral plate at least two shaft diameters proximal to the tip of the stem and using a spread of proximal screws. Distal fixation increases the strain experienced at the tip of the stem and higher strains are noted the smaller the gap between the proximal extent of the femoral plate and the tip of stem.