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J Orthop Traumatol. 2017 Sep;18(3):235-241. doi: 10.1007/s10195-017-0445-z. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Management and radiographic outcomes of femoral head fractures.

Author information

1
University of California, Irvine, 101 The City Drive South, Building 29A, Pavilion III, 2nd Floor, Orange, CA, 92868, USA. jscolaro@uci.edu.
2
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
3
Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
4
Rothman Institute at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
5
The University of Texas, Health Sciences Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Femoral head fractures are uncommon injuries. Small series constitute the majority of the available literature. Surgical approach and fracture management is variable. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence, method of treatment, and outcomes of consecutive femoral head fractures at a regional academic Level I trauma center.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A retrospective review of a prospective database was performed over a 13-year period. All AO/OTA 31C femoral head fractures were identified. A surgical approach and fixation method was recorded. Clinical and radiographic evaluation was performed for patients with 6 months or greater follow-up. Radiographs were evaluated for fixation failure, heterotopic ossification (HO), avascular necrosis (AVN) and post-traumatic arthritis.

RESULTS:

We identified 164 fractures in 163 patients; 147 fractures were available for review. Treatment was operative reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) in 78 (53.1%), fragment excision in 37 (25.1%) and non-operative in 28 (19%). An anterior approach and mini-fragment screws were used in the majority of patients treated with fixation. Sixty-nine fractures had follow-up greater than 6 months. Sixty-two fractures (89.9%) proceeded to uneventful union. All Pipkin III fractures failed operative fixation. Six patients developed AVN, seven patients had a known conversion to hip arthroplasty; HO developed in 28 (40.6%) patients and rarely required excision.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fractures of the femoral head are rare. An anterior approach can be used for fragment excision or fixation using mini-fragment screws. Pipkin III fractures represent catastrophic injuries. Non-bridging, asymptomatic HO is common. AVN and posttraumatic degenerative disease of the hip occur but are uncommon.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

IV-prognostic.

KEYWORDS:

Femoral head; Fracture; Heterotopic ossification; Hip dislocation; Pipkin

PMID:
28188487
PMCID:
PMC5585088
DOI:
10.1007/s10195-017-0445-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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