Geriatric acetabular fractures are becoming more common due to demographic changes. Compared with proximal femoral fractures, surgical treatment is more complex and often does not allow full-weight-bearing. The aims of this study were to compare operatively treated acetabular and proximal femoral fractures with regard to (1) cumulative 1-year mortality, (2) perioperative complications, and (3) predictive factors associated with a higher 1-year mortality.
This institutional review board-approved comparative study included 486 consecutive surgically treated elderly patients (136 acetabular and 350 proximal femoral fractures). After matching, 2 comparable groups of 129 acetabular and 129 proximal femoral fractures were analyzed. Cumulative 1-year mortality was evaluated through Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis, and perioperative complications were documented and graded. After confirming that the proportionality assumption was met, Cox proportional hazard modeling was conducted to identify factors associated with increased 1-year mortality.
The acetabular fracture group had a significantly lower cumulative 1-year mortality before matching (18% compared with 33% for proximal femoral fractures, log-rank p = 0.001) and after matching (18% compared with 36%, log-rank p = 0.005). Nevertheless, it had a significantly higher overall perioperative complication rate (68% compared with 48%, p < 0.001). In our multivariable Cox regression analysis, older age, perioperative blood loss of >1 L, and wheelchair mobilization were associated with lower survival rates after acetabular fracture surgery. Older age and a higher 5-item modified frailty index were associated with a higher 1-year mortality rate after proximal femoral fractures, whereas postoperative full weight-bearing was protective.
Despite the complexity of operative treatment and a higher complication rate after acetabular fractures in the elderly, the 1-year mortality rate is lower than that after operative treatment of proximal femoral fractures, even after adjustment for comorbidities.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.