To determine whether Hounsfield units (HUs) measured on perioperative computed tomographic scans are associated with radiographic outcomes and reoperations after femoral neck fracture fixation.
Retrospective cohort study.
Level I trauma center.
One hundred fourteen patients age ≥18 years, who presented to a Level I trauma center, and who underwent surgical fixation of intracapsular femoral neck fracture and had perioperative computed tomographic scans and adequate follow-up.
Main Outcome Measurements:
Screw penetration, femoral neck shortening >5 mm, and revision surgery.
A median follow-up was 23 months. An HU measurement of the femoral head was significantly associated with screw penetration and femoral neck shortening but not revision surgery. Patients with middle femoral head HU measurements <146 had 17 times (95% confidence interval: 4.32–78.9, P < 0.001) increased odds of screw penetration. Greater than 5 mm shortening was seen in patients with HUs <212.5 in the low head section by an odds ratio of 7.8 (95% confidence interval: 2.15–33.0, P = 0.014).
Outcome differences regarding screw penetration and femoral neck shortening related to the HU or densities of femoral head and neck at the time of fracture are significant. These findings can help the clinician with developing a treatment plan for either arthroplasty or fixation of a femoral neck fracture based on objective bone quality measurements rather than relying on an arbitrary age recommendation.
Level of Evidence:
Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.