Increasing numbers of total knee and hip arthroplasties result in a growing number of periprosthetic femoral fractures (PPFF). PPFF with a stable stem component are treated commonly with plate osteosynthesis. Therefore plate failure is seen as a major complication. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the patients’ outcome after plate failure.
The database of a Level 1 trauma center was searched for all patients treated for a PPFF with plate osteosynthesis. Patients with plate failure were investigated specifically. Standard demographic data, details on initial arthroplasty, trauma, and treatment were recorded for all patients. All fractures were classified and their outcome reviewed.
Seven (8.8 %) out of 80 patients treated with plate osteosynthesis following PPFF met our inclusion criterion being plate failure. All these patients were female, with an average age at primary surgery of 74 ± 13 years and a mean follow-up of 885 days (range, 264–2549). Four patients suffered a PPFF after total hip arthroplasty (THA) (2 Vancouver Type B1 and 2 Type C) and three after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) (Lewis-Rorabeck Type II). Following plate failure, four patients healed uneventfully and three patients experienced complications such as pseudarthrosis, screw loosening, and further plate failure.
In patients with poor bone quality, bone graft, bone cement, and bone biologics have to be considered in revision surgery. Furthermore, long-stem revision and tumor prosthesis are an additional solution.