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Ipsilateral pubic ramus fracture during total hip arthroplasty is not rare: does it matter?

INTRODUCTION: Periprosthetic fractures in total hip arthroplasty (THA) have been well described and studied. However, there is a lack of reports on ipsilateral pubic ramus fractures during THA due to the rare occurrence of such fractures and ambiguity of symptoms. With the use of postoperative computed tomography (CT) examinations, we have identified that asymptomatic ipsilateral pubic ramus fractures occur frequently during THA. This study aims to evaluate the incidence, location, clinical outcomes, and risk factors of ipsilateral pubic ramus fractures during THA.

METHODS: From May 2022 to March 2023, a single surgeon performed 203 THAs in 183 patients at a single institution. All patients underwent postoperative CT scans three days after THA. The patients with ipsilateral pubic ramus fractures were followed up for a minimum of six months. Basic demographics, osteoporosis, general conditions of the operations, and outcomes of THA were investigated in all patients.

RESULTS: Twenty-two cases (10.8%) of ipsilateral pubic ramus fractures were identified on postoperative CT scans. All fractures were located near the origin of the superior or inferior pubic ramus. Five fractures were detected on simple postoperative radiographs. The fractures did not cause any further complications at a minimum of six-month postoperative follow-up. Univariate and multivariate analyses did not identify any risk factors associated with these fractures.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the incidence of ipsilateral pubic ramus fractures during THA is high, treatment is not required as they do not cause any significant clinical symptoms or affect the prognosis of THA. However, the possibility of occurrence of these fractures must be explained to the patients before surgery.

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