Background: The treatment of periprosthetic femur fractures around a total knee replacement remains a technical challenge for the orthopedic surgeon. Management options include non-operative treatment, plate fixation, intramedullary nailing and distal femur replacement (DFR), with few studies comparing fixation with DFR. This is an up-to-date meta-analysis in the literature to directly compare clinical outcomes between fixation and distal femoral replacement in the treatment of supracondylar periprosthetic femur fractures.
Methods: A stratified literature search of the Medline, EMBASE and Cochrane databases was performed. All studies in English language were searched from inception to July 2022. The search was performed with the following MeSH terms: Periprosthetic fracture AND ORIF OR Internal Fixation AND Distal Femur Replacement. The search was conducted using a predesigned search strategy where all eligible literature was critically appraised for methodological quality using the Cochrane collaboration tool. We included Level I, II and III studies comparing fixation with DFR in the treatment of periprosthetic supracondylar femur fractures. Data from eligible studies were extracted by two authors (NP and AR) and a table created which included author, year, sample size, mean age, measured parameters, follow-up period, fracture classification, length of stay (days), mortality rate, revision rate and complication rate.
Results: The extracted data were pooled for meta-analysis using RevMan® v5.3.5 software (Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark) and forest plots constructed. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant and confidence intervals (CI) set to 95%. A total of six studies were included in the meta-analysis (n = 406). 153 patients underwent distal femur replacement and 253 patients underwent fixation with a mean follow-up time of 71.4 months. The results of this analysis suggest no statistically significant difference in measured outcomes.
Conclusion: The results of this meta-analysis suggest no proven statistically significant difference between DFR and fixation in terms of length of hospital stay, mortality rate, revision rate and complication rate for the treatment of periprosthetic supracondylar femur fractures. Further prospective randomized research may help to define the specific indications for each treatment option which must include fracture configuration. Early functional outcome and cost-effectiveness have yet to be evaluated in the available literature.
Keywords: Distal femur replacement; Internal fixation; Knee; Periprosthetic fracture; Trauma.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.