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Vertical Shear Fractures of the Femoral Neck A Biomechanical Study

Baitner, Avi, C.; Maurer, Stephen, G.; Hickey, Derrick, G.; Jazrawi, Laith, M.; Kummer, Frederick, J.; Jamal, Joseph; Goldman, Sara; Koval, Kenneth, J.

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: October 1999 - Volume 367 - Issue - p 300–305

A biomechanical cadaver study was performed to compare the strength and stability of three cannulated cancellous lag screws with a sliding hip screw for fixation of a vertically oriented fracture of the femoral neck (Pauwels Type III). Using eight matched pairs of human cadaveric femurs, vertically oriented femoral neck osteotomies were created, reduced, and randomized to one of the two fixation methods. The constructs were tested with incremental axial loading from 100 N to 1200 N and cyclical loading at 1000 N for 10,000 cycles; fracture displacements and ultimate load to failure were determined. The specimens stabilized using a sliding hip screw showed less inferior femoral head displacement, less shearing displacement at the osteotomy site, and a much greater load to failure than did those stabilized with multiple cancellous lag screws. These results support the use of a sliding hip screw for treatment of vertically oriented fractures of the femoral neck.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Joint Diseases. New York. NY.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.