Incidence and predictive factors of problems after fixation of trochanteric hip fractures with sliding hip screw or intramedullary devices

Piers R J Page, Michael H Field, Niraj Vetharajan, Adam Smith, Luke Duggleby, Dario Cazzola, Michael R Whitehouse, Richie Gill

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Hip fractures are common and disabling injuries, usually managed surgically. The most common type outside the joint capsule are trochanteric fractures, usually fixed with either sliding hip screw or intramedullary nail. Data are available in the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) on early failure and other major complications, but late or subtler complications may escape recording. This study sought to quantify such problems after fixation performed at 3different sites and identify their predictors.

METHODS: Patients with a trochanteric fracture treated at 1 of 3 sites were identified from the NHFD over a 3-year period. Any with further, related episodes of care were identified, and reasons recorded, then age- and sex-matched with those with no such episodes. Data was collected on Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen classification, tip-apex distance, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade, Abbreviated Mental Test Score and pre-injury mobility. The cohorts were compared, and a binomial logistic regression model used to identify predictors of problems.

RESULTS: A total of 4010 patients were entered in the NHFD across 3 sites between January 2013 and December 2015. Of these, 1260 sustained trochanteric fractures and 57 (4.5%) subsequently experienced problems leading to re-presentation. The most common was failure of fixation, occurring in 22 patients (1.7%). The binomial logistic regression model explained 47.6% of the variance in incidence of postoperative problems with ASA grade and tip-apex distance being predictive.

DISCUSSION: The incidence of re-presentation with problems was around of 5%. A failure rate of less than 2% was seen, in keeping with existing data. This study has quantified the incidence of subtler postoperative problems and identified their predictors. The type of implant used was not amongst them and patients with both implants experienced problems. Fixation continues to yield imperfect results, but patient health and robust surgical technique remain important factors in a good outcome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHip International
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2020

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