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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 87-B, Issue 1 | Pages 76 - 81
1 Jan 2005
Pajarinen J Lindahl J Michelsson O Savolainen V Hirvensalo E

We treated 108 patients with a pertrochanteric femoral fracture using either the dynamic hip screw or the proximal femoral nail in this prospective, randomised series. We compared walking ability before fracture, intra-operative variables and return to their residence. Patients treated with the proximal femoral nail (n = 42) had regained their pre-operative walking ability significantly (p = 0.04) more often by the four-month review than those treated with the dynamic hip screw (n = 41). Peri-operative or immediate post-operative measures of outcome did not differ between the groups, with the exception of operation time. The dynamic hip screw allowed a significantly greater compression of the fracture during the four-month follow-up, but consolidation of the fracture was comparable between the two groups. Two major losses of reduction were observed in each group, resulting in a total of four revision operations.

Our results suggest that the use of the proximal femoral nail may allow a faster postoperative restoration of walking ability, when compared with the dynamic hip screw.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 6 | Pages 955 - 962
1 Nov 1999
Lindahl J Hirvensalo E Böstman O Santavirta S

We reviewed 110 patients with an unstable fracture of the pelvic ring who had been treated with a trapezoidal external fixator after a mean follow-up of 4.1 years. There were eight open-book (type B1, B3-1) injuries, 62 lateral compression (type B2, B3-2) and 40 rotationally and vertically unstable (type C1-C3) injuries.

The rate of complications was high with loss of reduction in 57%, malunion in 58%, nonunion in 5%, infection at the pin site in 24%, loosening of the pins in 2%, injury to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in 2%, and pressure sores in 3%. The external fixator failed to give and maintain a proper reduction in six of the eight open-book injuries, in 20 of the 62 lateral compression injuries, and in 38 of the 40 type-C injuries. Poor functional results were usually associated with failure of reduction and an unsatisfactory radiological appearance. In type-C injuries more than 10 mm of residual vertical displacement of the injury to the posterior pelvic ring was significantly related to poor outcome. In 14 patients in this unsatisfactory group poor functional results were also affected by associated nerve injuries. In lateral compression injuries the degree of displacement of fractures of the pubic rami caused by internal rotation of the hemipelvis was an important prognostic factor.

External fixation may be useful in the acute phase of resuscitation but it is of limited value in the definitive treatment of an unstable type-C injury and in type-B open-book injuries. It is usually unnecessary in minimally displaced lateral compression injuries.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 74-B, Issue 6 | Pages 853 - 857
1 Nov 1992
Pihlajamaki H Bostman O Hirvensalo E Tormala P Rokkanen P

We reviewed 27 patients with small-fragment fractures or osteotomies treated by internal fixation with absorbable self-reinforced poly-L-lactide pins. The follow-up time ranged from eight to 37 months. The two most common indications were chevron osteotomy of the first metatarsal bone for hallux valgus and displaced fracture of the radial head. No redisplacements occurred, and there were no signs of inflammatory foreign-body reaction. Biopsy in two patients 20 and 37 months after implantation showed that no polymeric material remained.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 72-B, Issue 4 | Pages 592 - 596
1 Jul 1990
Bostman O Hirvensalo E Makinen J Rokkanen P

Biodegradable rods of polyglycolide or lactide-glycolide copolymer were used in the internal fixation of a variety of fractures and osteotomies in 516 patients. A clinically manifest foreign-body reaction occurred in 41 patients (7.9%), producing a fluctuant swelling at the implantation site after an average of 12 weeks. Spontaneous sinus formation or surgical drainage yielded a sterile exudate containing liquid remnants of the degrading implants. After prompt drainage this discharge subsided within three weeks. Histological examination showed a typical nonspecific foreign-body reaction with abundant giant cells both in patients with the reaction and in some patients with an uneventful clinical course. The factors determining the nature of the reaction were probably related to the local capacity of the tissues to clear the polymeric debris. The reactions did not influence the clinical or radiographic results, but recognition of the incidence and the features of the reaction is necessary in view of the increasing use of such implants.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 69-B, Issue 4 | Pages 615 - 619
1 Aug 1987
Bostman O Vainionpaa S Hirvensalo E Makela A Vihtonen K Tormala P Rokkanen P

Fifty-six patients with displaced malleolar fractures had open reduction and fixation of the fracture fragments using, by random selection, either biodegradable implants or metal AO plates and screws. The cylindrical biodegradable implants were made of polylactide-glycolide copolymer (polyglactin 910). The complications, radiographic results and functional recovery were studied prospectively. After follow-up of at least one year, no significant differences emerged in the complication rate or in the results of treatment between the two methods of fixation. Because of the advantage of avoiding the need to remove metal fixation after union, we now use biodegradable internal fixation routinely to treat displaced malleolar fractures.