[Unstable pertrochanteric femur fractures. Failure rate, lag screw sliding and outcome with extra- and intramedullary devices (PCCP, DHS and PFN)]

M Knobe, R Münker, R M Sellei, B Schmidt-Rohlfing, H J Erli, C S Strobl, F U Niethard
Zeitschrift Für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie 2009, 147 (3): 306-13

AIM OF THE STUDY: The dynamic hip screw (DHS) often shows a high incidence of therapeutic failure and an impared outcome in the treatment of the unstable pertrochanteric femur fracture (31A2). Therefore often an intramedullary device is recommended. In a retrospective clinical study we examined whether the percutaneous compression plate (PCCP, Gotfried) provides advantages following unstable fractures in comparison to DHS and PFN.

METHODS: From January 2002 to April 2007 135 patients with unstable pertrochanteric femur fractures underwent internal fixation with the PCCP (n = 46, age 78.3, ASA 2.8), DHS (n = 36, age 75.9, ASA 3.0) or PFN (n = 53, age 77.2, ASA 2.8). Radiological and clinical re-examination of the patients (33 PCCP, 24 DHS, 34 PFN) was performed 17 months later.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The PCCP was implanted in less time than the DHS and PFN (59 vs. 80 vs. 79 min, p = 0.004). Radiographic screening time was low (PCCP 143 vs. DHS 146 vs. PFN 280 s, p = 0.001). Re-operations for wound infections and haematomas occurred in 2 % after PCCP, 14 % after DHS and 4 % after PFN (p = 0.058). There was a low re-operation rate for fracture fixation complications in PCCP (9 %), in contrast to DHS (25 %) and PFN (13 %, p = 0.109). Cut-out was seen more in DHS (19 %, PCCP 2 %, PFN 4 %, p = 0.005). Lag screw sliding was high with DHS (PCCP 4 mm vs. DHS 9 mm vs. PFN 6 mm, p = 0.032). There was no correlation between lag screw sliding and outcome. PCCP, DHS and PFN had the same functional results in Merle d'Aubigné and Harris hip scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Using the minimally invasive PCCP technique in unstable pertrochanteric femur fractures provides a promising therapy option especially with regard to surgical time, radiographic screening time and failure rate. Lag screw sliding was low. There was no advantage of the intramedullary device PFN.

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