COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Modular unipolar versus bipolar prosthesis: a prospective evaluation of functional outcome after femoral neck fracture

R A Wathne, K J Koval, G B Aharonoff, J D Zuckerman, D A Jones
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 1995, 9 (4): 298-302
7562151
Between January 1, 1987, and December 31, 1992, 140 community-dwelling geriatric patients > or = 65 years of age with a displaced femoral neck fracture (Garden III-IV) underwent primary prosthetic replacement and were followed prospectively for a minimum of 1 year. Overall, 92 patients received a cemented bipolar prosthesis and 48 patients received a cemented modular unipolar prosthesis. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with respect to preinjury characteristics (age, sex, and number and severity of medical comorbidities) and functional ability. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with regard to the number of postoperative complications, length of stay, and 1 year mortality rate. An in-depth functional evaluation was obtained as follows: level of ambulation, independence in basic activities of daily living (feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting), and independence in instrumental activities of daily living (food shopping, food preparation, banking, laundry, housework, and use of public transportation). At 1 year follow-up, no statistically significant differences in functional ability were identified between the unipolar and bipolar groups. Furthermore, at a minimum of 1 year follow-up, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with regard to the need for revision surgery or the incidence hip pain. Based on the results of this study, there does not appear to be any advantage to the use of bipolar endoprosthesis for the treatment of femoral neck fractures in the elderly patient. The lower cost of modular unipolar prostheses compared with bipolar prostheses provides additional support for their use.

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