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Treatment and outcomes of Vancouver type B periprosthetic femoral fractures

a retrospective study of 97 cases

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Vancouver type B periprosthetic femoral fractures (PFF) are challenging complications after total hip arthroplasty (THA), and some treatment controversies remain. The objectives of this study were: to evaluate the short-to-mid-term clinical outcomes after treatment of Vancouver type B PFF and to compare postoperative outcome in subgroups according to classifications and treatments; to report the clinical outcomes after conservative treatment; and to identify risk factors for postoperative complications in Vancouver type B PFF.


A total of 97 consecutive PPFs (49 males and 48 females) were included with a mean age of 66 years (standard deviation (SD) 14.9). Of these, 86 patients were treated with surgery and 11 were treated conservatively. All living patients had a minimum two-year follow-up. Patient demographics details, fracture healing, functional scores, and complications were assessed. Clinical outcomes between internal fixation and revisions in patients with or without a stable femoral component were compared. Conservatively treated PPFs were evaluated in terms of mortality and healing status. A logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for complications.


In surgically treated patients, all fractures united and nine complications were identified. The mean postoperative Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain was 1.5 (SD 1.3), mean Parker Mobility Score (PMS) was 6.5 (SD 2.4), and mean Harris Hip Score (HHS) was 79.4 (SD 16.2). Among type B2 and type B3 fractures, patients treated with internal fixation had significantly lower PMS (p = 0.032) and required a longer time to heal (p = 0.012). In conservatively treated patients, one-year mortality rate was 36.4% (4/11), and two patients ultimately progressed to surgery. Young age (p = 0.039) was found to be the only risk factor for complications.


The overall clinical outcome among Vancouver type B PFF was satisfactory. However, treatment with internal fixation in type B2 and B3 fractures had a significantly longer time to heal and lower mobility than revision cases. Conservative treatment was associated with high rates of early mortality and, in survivors, nonunion. This probably reflects our selection bias in undertaking surgical intervention. In our whole cohort, younger patient age was a risk factor for postoperative complications in Vancouver type B PFF.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(3):293–300

Correspondence should be sent to Yixin Zhou; E-mail:

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