Salvage of failed trochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures using a distally fixed, modular, uncemented hip revision stemRüdiger J Weiss, Johan Kärrholm, Nils P Hailer, Mats O Beckman & André Stark
Background and purpose Treatment options for failed internal fixation of hip fractures include prosthetic replacement. We evaluated survival, complications, and radiographic outcome in 30 patients who were operated with a specific modular, uncemented hip reconstruction prosthesis as a salvage procedure after failed treatment of trochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures.
Patients and methods We used data from the Swedish Hip Arthroplasty Register and journal files to analyze complications and survival. Initially, a high proportion of trochanteric fractures (7/10) were classified as unstable and 12 of 20 subtrochanteric fractures had an extension through the greater trochanter. Modes of failure after primary internal fixation were cutout (n = 12), migration of the femoral neck screw (n = 9), and other (n = 9).
Results Mean age at the index operation with the modular prosthesis was 77 (52–93) years and the mean follow-up was 4 (1–9) years. Union of the remaining fracture fragments was observed in 26 hips, restoration of proximal bone defects in 16 hips, and bone ingrowth of the stem in 25 hips. Subsidence was evident in 4 cases. 1 patient was revised by component exchange because of recurrent dislocation, and another 6 patients were reoperated: 5 because of deep infections and 1 because of periprosthetic fracture. The cumulative 3-year survival for revision was 96% (95% CI: 89–100) and for any reoperation it was 83% (68–93).
Interpretation The modular stem allowed fixation distal to the fracture system. Radiographic outcome was good. The rate of complications, however—especially infections—was high. We believe that preoperative laboratory screening for low-grade infection and synovial cultures could contribute to better treatment in some of these patients.