Subsequent ipsi- and contralateral femoral fractures after intramedullary nailing of a trochanteric or subtrochanteric fracture: a cohort study on 2012 patients
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2022, 23, 399. 10.1186/s12891-022-05340-7
Background: The literature is inconclusive as to whether an intramedullary nail changes the distribution of a subsequent ipsi- or contralateral fracture of the femur. We have compared the incidence, localisation, and fracture pattern of subsequent femoral fractures after intramedullary nailing of trochanteric or subtrochanteric fractures in patients without previous implants in either femur at the time of surgery. Methods: Retrospective analysis was performed of a two-centre cohort of 2012 patients treated with a short or long intramedullary nail for the management of trochanteric or subtrochanteric fracture between January 2005 and December 2018. Subsequent presentations with ipsi- and contralateral femoral fractures were documented. Only patients with no previous femoral surgery performed, other than the index nailing were followed. Odds ratios (ORs) for subsequent femoral fracture were calculated using robust variance estimates in logistic regression. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 82.4 years and 72.1% were female. The total number of patients presenting with subsequent femoral fractures was 299 (14.9%). The number of patients presenting with subsequent ipsilateral and contralateral femoral fractures was 51 (2.5%) and 248 (12.3%) respectively (OR 5.0; CI 3.7–6.9). Twenty-six (8.7%) of all subsequent femoral fractures occured in the ipsilateral shaft, 14 (4.7%) in the ipsilateral metaphyseal area, one (0.33%) in the contralateral shaft, and three (1.0%) in the contralateral metaphysis (OR 10; CI 3.6–29). Conclusion: An intramedullary nail significantly changes the fracture pattern in the event of a second low-energy trauma, reducing the risk of subsequent proximal ipsilateral femoral fractures and increasing the risk of subsequent ipsilateral femoral fractures in the shaft and distal metaphyseal area compared with the native contralateral femur.