Background: Unstable intertrochanteric fractures in elderly patients are associated with a high rate of complications. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the results of long-stem cementless calcar-replacement hemiarthroplasty with those of treatment with a proximal femoral nail for unstable intertrochanteric fractures in elderly patients.
Methods: Fifty-eight elderly patients with an AO/OTA type 31-A2 intertrochanteric fracture of the femur were randomized into two treatment groups and were followed for a minimum of two years. The twenty-nine patients in Group I were treated with a long-stem cementless calcar-replacement prosthesis, and the twenty-nine patients in Group II were treated with a proximal femoral nail. The two treatment groups were comparable with regard to demographic and injury variables.
Results: There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of functional outcomes, hospital stay, time to weight-bearing, or general complications. Patients treated with a proximal femoral nail had a shorter operative time, less blood loss, fewer units of blood transfused, a lower mortality rate, and lower hospital costs compared with those treated with the long-stem cementless calcar-replacement prosthesis.
Conclusions: In elderly patients with an unstable intertrochanteric femoral fracture, a proximal femoral nail provides superior clinical outcomes but no advantage with regard to functional outcome when compared with a long-stem cementless calcar-replacement arthroplasty.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Jung Gu Sam Duck 2 Ga 50, Daegu 700-721, South Korea. E-mail address for S.-Y. Kim: email@example.com