Dynamic hip screw with trochanteric stabilizing plate in the treatment of unstable proximal femoral fractures: a comparative study with the Gamma nail and compression hip screw

J E Madsen, L Naess, A K Aune, A Alho, A Ekeland, K Strømsøe
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 1998, 12 (4): 241-8

OBJECTIVE: To compare the results after operative treatment of unstable per- and subtrochanteric fractures with the Gamma nail, compression hip screw (CHS), or dynamic hip screw with a laterally mounted trochanteric stabilizing plate (DHS/TSP).

DESIGN: Prospective.

PATIENTS: One hundred seventy patients with unstable trochanteric femoral fractures surviving six months after operation. Eighty-five patients were randomized to treatment with the Gamma nail (n = 50, Gamma group) or the compression hip screw (n = 35, CHS group) and compared with a consecutive series of eighty-five patients operated with the dynamic hip screw with a laterally mounted trochanteric stabilizing plate (DHS/TSP group)

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Radiographs were analyzed for fracture classification, evaluation of fracture reduction, implant positioning, later fracture dislocation, and other complications. Pre- and postoperative functional status of the patients were recorded, with a minimum of six months follow-up.

RESULTS: Eighteen percent of the patients in the Gamma group, 34 percent in the CHS group, and 9 percent in the DHS/TSP group suffered significant secondary fracture dislocation during the six months follow-up, leading to a varus malunion, lag screw cutout, or excessive lag screw sliding with medialization of the distal fracture fragment. Two patients (4.0 percent) in the Gamma group suffered an implant-related femoral fracture below the nail, and one had a deep infection. The reoperation rates were 8.0 percent in the Gamma group, 2.9 percent in the CHS group, and 5.9 percent in the DHS/TSP group. All but one fracture in the Gamma and CHS groups and two fractures in the DHS/TSP group healed within six months. Approximately three-fourths of the patients had returned to their preoperative walking ability after six months, with a trend toward better functional outcome in the DHS/TSP group. Use of a TSP reduced the secondary lag screw sliding as compared with the conventional CHS, without affecting fracture healing.

CONCLUSION: The TSP may be an aid in the treatment of these difficult fractures because the problem with femoral shaft fractures using the Gamma nail is avoided and the medialization of the distal fracture fragment frequently associated with the CHS is prevented.

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