Background and purpose: Cemented hemiarthroplasty is preferred in treating displaced fractures of the femoral neck in the elderly. The cementing process may cause a fat embolism, leading to serious complications or death. In this study, we wanted to determine whether use of uncemented hemiarthroplasty (HA) would lead to reduced mortality and whether there are differences in the complications associated with these different types of arthroplasty.
Patients and methods: From the PERFECT database, which combines information from various treatment registries, we identified 25,174 patients who were treated with hemiarthroplasty for a femoral neck fracture in the years 1999-2009. The primary outcome was mortality. Secondary outcomes were reoperations, complications, re-admissions, and treatment times.
Results: Mortality was lower in the first postoperative days when uncemented HA was used. At 1 week, there was no significant difference in mortality (3.9% for cemented HA and 3.4% for uncemented HA; p = 0.09). This was also true after one year (26% for cemented HA and 27% for uncemented HA; p = 0.1). In patients treated with uncemented HA, there were significantly more mechanical complications (3.7% vs. 2.8%; p < 0.001), hip re-arthroplasties (1.7% vs. 0.95; p < 0.001), and femoral fracture operations (1.2% vs. 0.52%; p < 0.001) during the first 90 days after hip fracture surgery.
Interpretation: From registry data, mortality appears to be similar for cemented and uncemented HA. However, uncemented HA is associated with more frequent mechanical complications and reoperations.