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The risk of peri-prosthetic fracture after primary and revision total hip and knee replacement

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Peri-prosthetic fracture after joint replacement in the lower limb is associated with significant morbidity. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of peri-prosthetic fracture after total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) over a ten-year period using a population-based linked dataset.

Between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 2008, 52 136 primary THRs, 8726 revision THRs, 44 511 primary TKRs, and 3222 revision TKRs were performed. Five years post-operatively, the rate of fracture was 0.9% after primary THR, 4.2% after revision THR, 0.6% after primary TKR and 1.7% after revision TKR. Comparison of survival analysis for all primary and revision arthroplasties showed peri-prosthetic fractures were more likely in females, patients aged > 70 and after revision arthroplasty.

Female patients aged > 70 should be warned of a significantly increased risk of peri-prosthetic fracture after hip or knee replacement. The use of adjuvant medical treatment to reduce the effect of peri-prosthetic osteoporosis may be a direction of research for these patients.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr R. M. D. Meek; e-mail: rmdmeek@doctors.org.uk

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