The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 10 , 3354 - 3361

Treatment Modalities for Pathologic Fractures of the Proximal Femur Pertrochanteric Region: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Reoperation Rates

Putnam, David S. et al.


The proximal femur represents the most common site of metastatic bone disease in the appendicular skeleton, and associated pathologic pertrochanteric femur fractures contribute to cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Controversy exists as to whether these injuries are best managed with intramedullary nailing (IMN) or with arthroplasty.


A systematic review of the literature was performed using a PubMed search following PRISMA guidelines to identify studies performed within the last 20 years regarding treatment of proximal femur metastatic lesions with either nailing or arthroplasty with a reported reoperation rate. Sixteen studies were selected for inclusion containing 1414 patients. Pooled estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for reoperation rates associated with IMN and endoprosthetic reconstruction (EPR) were separately calculated.


The pooled estimate for reoperation for IMN was a median of 9% (95% CI, 5%-14%) and the pooled estimate for reoperation for EPR was a median of 7% (95% CI, 5%-11%). Significant heterogeneity was present in studies reporting on both treatment modalities: for IMN, I2 = 55%, and for EPR, I2 = 51%.


This systematic literature review identified 16 eligible, nonrandomized, retrospective studies that reported on the results of surgical treatment for proximal femur metastatic disease. The pooled estimate of reoperation was similar between patients treated with IMN and EPR. Inconsistencies among follow-up and the study designs used limited evidence-based conclusions. As the oncologic care of patients with metastatic disease continues to evolve and improve, patient-specific needs must be carefully considered when selecting an optimal treatment strategy.

Level of Evidence

Level III.

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