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An algorithm for the surgical treatment of periprosthetic fractures of the femur around a well-fixed femoral component

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The use of plate-and-cable constructs to treat periprosthetic fractures around a well-fixed femoral component in total hip replacements has been reported to have high rates of failure. Our aim was to evaluate the results of a surgical treatment algorithm to use these lateral constructs reliably in Vancouver type-B1 and type-C fractures. The joint was dislocated and the stability of the femoral component was meticulously evaluated in 45 type-B1 fractures. This led to the identification of nine (20%) unstable components. The fracture was considered to be suitable for single plate-and-cable fixation by a direct reduction technique if the integrity of the medial cortex could be restored.

Union was achieved in 29 of 30 fractures (97%) at a mean of 6.4 months (3 to 30) in 29 type-B1 and five type-C fractures. Three patients developed an infection and one construct failed.

Using this algorithm plate-and-cable constructs can be used safely, but indirect reduction with minimal soft-tissue damage could lead to shorter times to union and lower rates of complications.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr K. Corten; e-mail: kristoff.corten@uz.kuleuven.ac.be

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