Radiographic and functional results of osteosynthesis using the proximal femoral nail antirotation (PFNA) in the treatment of unstable intertrochanteric femoral fractures

Suner Sahin, Erden Ertürer, Irfan Oztürk, Serdar Toker, Faik Seçkin, Senol Akman
Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica 2010, 44 (2): 127-34

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the radiographic and functional results of the proximal femoral nail antirotation (PFNA) system in patients with unstable intertrochanteric femoral fractures.

METHODS: The study included 45 patients (25 women, 20 men; mean age 72 years; range 27 to 97 years) who underwent osteosynthesis using the PFNA for unstable intertrochanteric femoral fractures. The fractures were in the right hip in 25 patients, and in the left hip in 20 patients. The fractures were classified according to the AO system. One patient had an open fracture due to firearm injury (Gustilo-Anderson 3A). The patients underwent surgery within a mean of eight days (range 2 to 21 days) from injury. The mean hospital stay was 13.5 days (range 4 to 25 days). Closed reduction was achieved in all the patients. The results were assessed clinically and radiographically. The neck-shaft angle of the femur (collodiaphysial angle) and the tip-apex distance were measured. The position of the helical screw within the femoral head was determined using the method of Cleveland and Bosworth. Clinical evaluation was made using the Harris hip score. Perioperative and postoperative complications were recorded. The mean follow-up period was 17.3 months (range 6 to 23 months).

RESULTS: The mean operation time was 37.8 min (range 22 to 118 min) and the mean blood loss was 225 ml (range 150 to 450 ml). During surgery, femoral shaft fracture occurred in three patients, and greater trochanter fracture occurred in nine patients. Union was obtained in all the patients. Reduction was poor in four patients (8.9%), acceptable in seven patients (15.6%), and good in 34 patients (75.6%). The mean collodiaphysial angle was 136.7 degrees (range 125 degrees to 148 degrees). The tip-apex distance was <25 mm in 36 patients (80%), and =or>25 mm in nine patients (20%). The position of the helical screw in the femoral head was appropriate in 38 patients (84.4%). Postoperative complications included secondary varus (n=2, 4.4%), calcification at the tip of the greater trochanter (n=7, 15.5%), sensitivity over the fascia lata (n=7), medial thigh pain (n=11, 24.4%), and screw cut-out (n=1, 2.2%). Nine patients developed femoral shortness (mean 9.4 mm; range 8 to 13 mm). Screws showed lateral displacement in five patients (11.1%), which was less than 5 mm in four patients. Secondary surgery was required in four patients (8.9%). The mean Harris hip score was 77.8. Harris hip scores were very good in 11 patients (24.4%), good in 19 patients (42.2%), moderate in nine patients (20%), and poor in six patients (13.3%).

CONCLUSION: Due to advantages of high union rate, early postoperative mobilization, and short operation time, PFNA osteosynthesis is the method of choice for surgical treatment of unstable intertrochanteric femoral fractures..

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