Management of unstable pertrochanteric fractures with proximal femoral locking compression plates and affect of neck-shaft angle on functional outcomes

J Clin Orthop Trauma. Jul-Sep 2017;8(3):209-214. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Jul 15.


Background: Management of unstable pertrochanteric fractures remains a challenge with various implant choices. Intramedullary devices are usually preferred for the management of the unstable fractures. When nailing is unsuitable for the configuration of the fracture extra medullary procedures are preferred. PFLCP is a contact limited implant that allows multiple angularly stable fixations with preserving more bone stock after implantation as an extramedullary implant. There are only a few reports in the literature about the osteosynthesis of unstable trochanteric fractures with proximal femoral locking compression plates and their results are conflicting. In the present study we aimed to evaluate the functional and radiological outcomes of proksimal femoral locking compression plates in open reduction and internal fixation of AO/OTA 31A2-2 and 3 fractures.

Methods: Patients older than 18 years of age with a minimum follow-up time of 1 year matching the inclusion criteria retrospectively evaluated. Patients' demographics, Singh index, intra and post-operative data, mobilization and union time gathered from the patients' files. Baumgaertner modified criteria of fracture reduction was used to assess the post-operative reduction quality. Early and last follow-up radiographs were used to evaluate malunion and change in neck- shaft angle. Final clinical outcome was assessed using the Harris Hip scoring system.

Results: 18 male and 13 female patients with the mean age of 74 (46-88) met the inclusion criteria. Reduction quality according to Baumgaertner modified criteria was good in 25 patients and acceptable in 6. Mean union time was 21.53 ± 4.18 weeks. There was neither non-union nor malunion. The mean neck-shaft angle change was -3.1° ± 2.16°. The mean HHS was 77.90 ± 4.84 and there was no significance in HHS according to reduction quality and change in neck-shaft angle (p = 0.385, p = 0.0059). HHS was negatively correlated with age, mobilization time and, longer union time (p < 0.05). There was no correlation between Singh index and reduction quality (p = 0.865). Singh index was only correlated with the patient's age (p = 0.000, rho = -0.595). There were 2 infections and, 2 backing of the proximal screws.

Conclusion: Even though PFLCP is not the first choice in management of unstable pertrochanteric fractures, it must be kept in mind as an alternative to the other conventional plates and intramedullary implants with the properties of an increased stability by multiaxial screw locking and the results are satisfactory when appropriate settlement achieved.

Keywords: Hip fractures; Locking compression plate; Pertrochanteric fracture; Proximal femoral locking compression plate; Unstable intertrochanteric fracture.