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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2008 Aug;90(8):1073-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.90B8.20825.

A prospective trial comparing the Holland nail with the dynamic hip screw in the treatment of intertrochanteric fractures of the hip.

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Orthopaedic and Trauma Unit, Waikato Hospital, Pembroke Street, Hamilton, New Zealand.


We compared the outcome of patients treated for an intertrochanteric fracture of the femoral neck with a locked, long intramedullary nail with those treated with a dynamic hip screw (DHS) in a prospective randomised study. Each patient who presented with an extra-capsular hip fracture was randomised to operative stabilisation with either a long intramedullary Holland nail or a DHS. We treated 92 patients with a Holland nail and 98 with a DHS. Pre-operative variables included the Mini Mental test score, patient mobility, fracture pattern and American Society of Anesthesiologists grading. Peri-operative variables were anaesthetic time, operating time, radiation time and blood loss. Post-operative variables were time to mobilising with a frame, wound infection, time to discharge, time to fracture union, and mortality. We found no significant difference in the pre-operative variables. The mean anaesthetic and operation times were shorter in the DHS group than in the Holland nail group (29.7 vs 40.4 minutes, p < 0.001; and 40.3 vs 54 minutes, p < 0.001, respectively). There was an increased mean blood loss within the DHS group versus the Holland nail group (160 ml vs 78 ml, respectively, p < 0.001). The mean time to mobilisation with a frame was shorter in the Holland nail group (DHS 4.3 days, Holland nail 3.6 days, p = 0.012). More patients needed a post-operative blood transfusion in the DHS group (23 vs seven, p = 0.003) and the mean radiation time was shorter in this group (DHS 0.9 minutes vs Holland nail 1.56 minutes, p < 0.001). The screw of the DHS cut out in two patients, one of whom underwent revision to a Holland nail. There were no revisions in the Holland nail group. All fractures in both groups were united when followed up after one year. We conclude that the DHS can be implanted more quickly and with less exposure to radiation than the Holland nail. However, the resultant blood loss and need for transfusion is greater. The Holland nail allows patients to mobilise faster and to a greater extent. We have therefore adopted the Holland nail as our preferred method of treating intertrochanteric fractures of the hip.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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