[Comparison of primary arthroplasty with early salvage arthroplasty after failed internal fixation for displaced femoral neck fractures in elderly patients]

Yusuf Oztürkmen, Mahmut Karamehmetoğlu, Ibrahim Azboy, Ilhan Açikgöz, Mustafa Caniklioğlu
Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica 2006, 40 (4): 291-300

OBJECTIVES: We compared the results of primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) with those of early salvage THA following failure of internal fixation for acute displaced femoral neck fractures in elderly patients.

METHODS: Patients with displaced femoral neck fractures (Garden type III, IV) were treated with either early salvage arthroplasty following failure of internal fixation (n=34; mean age 68 years) or THA (n=34; mean age 67.5 years). Both groups consisted of 8 men and 26 women with the same age range (60 to 75 years). Uncemented THA was performed in both groups. All patients were physiologically and socially active before the initial trauma. The hips were evaluated with the use of the Merle D'Aubigne scoring system. Prognostic risk factors were determined on radiographs obtained before or shortly after internal fixation. The mean follow-up was 5.2 years in the secondary and 5 years in the primary THA groups.

RESULTS: During the first year of THA, there were 21 complications in 16 patients and nine complications in six patients in the secondary and primary THA groups, respectively (p<0.05). The results with respect to pain were worse and reoperation rate was higher in the revision group (p<0.05). The mean Merle D'Aubigne hip scores for pain, mobility, and walking were higher in the primary THA group. Radiographs taken before or after internal fixation showed prognostic risk factors in 32 patients (94.1%).

CONCLUSION: Primary THA is a good choice of treatment for femoral neck fractures in physiologically and socially active elderly patients with a high life expectancy and cognition level.

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