Author(s): Henle P, Kloen P, Siebenrock KA, Henle P, Kloen P, Siebenrock KA
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Abstract Despite different operative and non-operative treatment regimens, the outcome after femoral head fractures has changed little over the past decades. The initial trauma itself as well as secondary changes such as posttraumatic osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis or heterotopic ossification is often responsible for severe loss of function of the afflicted hip joint. Anatomic reduction of all fracture fragments seems to be a major influencing factor in determining the outcome quality. Eight years ago we inaugurated a new surgical approach for better access and visualisation for the treatment of femoral head fractures, using the "trochanteric flip" (digastric) osteotomy. Thus inspection of the entire hip joint and accurate fragment reduction under direct visual control are possible. After good initial experiences with this operative procedure we changed our standard treatment regimen to this approach in an attempt to achieve the most accurate anatomic reduction of the femoral head in every affected patient. Between 1998 and 2006 we operated on 12 patients with femoral head fractures associated with posterior hip dislocation, using the new surgical approach. Patients were followed for 2-96 months and outcome was documented with the Merle d'Aubigne and Postel score as well as the Thompson and Epstein score. The posttraumatic formation of heterotopic bone was documented with the Brooker score. Retrospective analysis of these 12 patients showed good or excellent results in 10 patients (83.3\%). The two patients with poor outcome developed an avascular necrosis of the femoral head and underwent total hip arthroplasty. Periarticular heterotopic ossification was seen in five patients. In four patients this caused a significantly reduced range of motion and was therefore considered as a posttraumatic complication. The two patients with the most severe heterotopic bone formation (Brooker III and IV) had initially sustained multiple injuries including brain injury. Comparing our results with earlier published series including our own before changing the treatment protocol, the data suggest a favorable outcome in patients with trochanteric flip (digastric) osteotomy for the treatment of femoral head fractures.
This article was published in Injury
and referenced in Journal of Surgery