, Volume 471, Issue 12, pp 3912-3921
Date: 21 Feb 2013

Increase of Cortical Bone After a Cementless Long Stem in Periprosthetic Fractures

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Healing and functional recovery have been reported using an extensively porous-coated stem in Vancouver B2 and B3 periprosthetic fractures; however, loss of cortical bone has been observed when using these stems in revision surgery for aseptic loosening. However, it is unclear whether this bone loss influences subsequent loosening.


We analyze the healing fracture rate and whether the radiographic changes observed around and extensively porous-coated stem used for periprosthetic fractures affect function or loosening.


We retrospectively reviewed 35 patients with periprosthetic fractures (20 Vancouver B2 and 15 Vancouver B3). Patients’ mean age at surgery was 80 years (range, 51–86 years). No cortical struts were used in this series. We evaluated radiographs for signs of loosening or subsidence. The cortical index and the femoral cortical width were measured at different levels on the immediate pre- and postoperative radiographs and at different periods of followup. The minimum followup was 3 years (mean, 8.3 years; range, 3–17 years).


All fractures had healed, and all stems were clinically and radiographically stable at the end of followup. Nineteen hips showed nonprogressive radiographic subsidence during the first 3 postoperative months without clinical consequences. The cortical index and the lateral and medial cortical thickness increased over time. Increase of femoral cortex thicknesses was greater in cases with moderate preoperative osteoporosis and in cases with stems less than 16 mm in thickness.


Our data suggest an extensively porous-coated stem for Vancouver B2 and B3 periprosthetic fractures leads to a high rate of union and stable fixation. Cortical index and lateral cortex thickness increased in these patients with periprosthetic fractures. Patients with moderate osteoporosis and those using thin stems showed a major increase in femoral cortex thickness over time.

Level of Evidence

Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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