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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2001 May;83(4):572-8.

Femoral shortening in intertrochanteric fractures. A comparison between the Medoff sliding plate and the compression hip screw.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Helsingborg Hospital, Sweden.


We compared 54 patients treated by a Medoff sliding plate (MSP) with 60 stabilised by a compression hip screw (CHS) in a prospective, randomised study of the management of intertrochanteric femoral fractures. Four months after the operation femoral shortening was determined from radiographs of both femora. In unstable fractures the mean femoral shortening was 15 mm with the MSP and 11 mm with the CHS (p = 0.03). A subgroup in which shortening was classified as large, comprising one-third of the patients in each group, had a similar extent of shortening, but more medialisation of the femoral shaft occurred in the CHS (26%) than in the MSP (12%) group (p = 0.03). Five postoperative failures of fixation occurred with the CHS and none with the MSP (p = 0.03). The marginally greater femoral shortening seen with the MSP compared with the CHS appeared to be justified by the improved control of impaction of the fracture. Biaxial dynamisation in unstable intertrochanteric fractures is a safe principle of treatment, which minimises the rate of postoperative failure of fixation.

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