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Int Orthop. 2014 Jul;38(7):1443-9. doi: 10.1007/s00264-014-2306-1. Epub 2014 Mar 22.

Proximal femoral nails compared with reverse distal femoral locking plates in intertrochanteric fractures with a compromised lateral wall; a randomised controlled trial.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, New Delhi, India,



There is no consensus about the best option of internal fixation for unstable intertrochanteric fractures. The aim of the present study was to compare proximal femoral nail (PFN) with contralateral reverse distal femoral locking compression plate (reverse-DFLCP) in the management of unstable intertrochanteric fractures with compromised lateral wall.


In a randomized controlled study, from November 2011 to October 2012, 40 patients with unstable intertrochanteric fractures with compromised lateral wall (AO 31A 2.2 to 3.3) had osteosynthesis by PFN (n = 20) or reverse-DFLCP (n = 20). Intra-operative variables compared were duration of surgery, blood loss during surgery, fluoroscopy time and surgeons perception of the surgery. Patients were followed up clinically for a minimum of one year. Functional outcome was assessed by Parker Palmer mobility score (PPMS), Harris hip score (HHS), and Short Form-12. Failure was defined as any condition which would necessitate revision surgery with change of implant.


Duration of surgery (p = 0.022), blood loss during surgery (p = 0.008) and fluoroscopy time (p = 0.0001) were significantly less in the PFN group than in the reverse-DFLCP group. No significant difference was found in type of reduction, difficulty in reduction and surgeon's perception of surgery. The PFN group had better functional outcome than the reverse-DFLCP group. HHS for the PFN group was 81.53 ± 13.21 and for the reverse-DFLCP group it was 68.43 ± 14.36 (p = 0.018). SF-12 physical (p = 0.002) and mental component (p = 0.007) scores in the PFN group was significantly better than in the reverse-DFLCP group. There was one failure in the PFN group as compared to six in the reverse-DFLCP group (p = 0.036).


Due to favourable intra-operative variables, better functional outcome and lower failure rates, we conclude that PFN is a better implant than reverse-DFLCP for intertrochanteric fractures with compromised lateral wall.

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