, Volume 113, Issue 4, pp 222-227

Hip arthroplasty for failed internal fixation of intertrochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures in the elderly patient

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Nine elderly patients were treated by salvage hip arthroplasty following failed internal fixation of an intertrochanteric or subtrochanteric hip fracture. The mean age at time of fracture was 79 years (range 67–94 years). The mean interval from initial fracture fixation to conversion arthroplasty was 7 months (range 5 days to 19 months). One 84-year-old patient died 6 weeks postoperatively from a pulmonary infection. The remaining eight patients were assessed clinically and roentgenographically after a mean follow-up period of 41 months (range 4–85 months). The functional results, rated according to the Merle d'Aubigné hip rating scale, were excellent in one patient, very good in four patients, good in two patients, and fair in one patient. Serial roentgenographic analysis showed new bone formation around the extramedullary part of the femoral component in all these patients and bone remodelling of the diaphyseal part of the femur in all patients. The preservation of the functional continuity of the abduction apparatus during surgery and the early walking with full unrestricted weight-bearing made possible by the arthroplasty are considered to be the major contributing factors to these results.