Prophylactic augmentation of the proximal femur: an investigation of two techniques

Christoph Raas, Ladina Hofmann-Fliri, Romed Hörmann, Werner Schmoelz
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2016, 136 (3): 345-51

INTRODUCTION: Osteoporotic hip fractures are an increasing problem in an ageing population. They result in high morbidity, mortality and high socioeconomic costs. For patients with poor bone quality, prophylactic augmentation of the proximal femur might be an option for fracture prevention.

METHODS: In two groups of paired human femora the potential of limited polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) augmentation (11-15 ml) in a V-shape pattern and the insertion of a proximal femur nail antirotation (PFNA) blade were investigated. The testing was carried out pair wise simulating the single leg stand. The untreated femur in each pair served as control. An axial load was applied until failure. Load displacement parameters and temperature increase during the augmentation process were recorded.

RESULTS: In the PMMA group no significant difference was found between the augmented and non-augmented specimen concerning load to failure (p = 0.35) and energy to failure (p = 0.9). A median temperature increase of 9.5 °C was observed in the augmented specimen. A significant correlation was found between the amount of applied PMMA and the temperature increase (Cor. Coef. = 0.82, p = 0.042). In the PFNA group, a significant decrease of load to failure and a non-significant decrease of energy to failure were observed (p = 0.037 and p = 0.075).

CONCLUSION: Limited V-shaped PMMA augmentation and PFNA blade insertion did not show any improvement in failure load or energy to failure. Volumes of up to 15 ml PMMA did not cause a critical surface temperature increase.

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