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Internal Fixation Versus Hemiarthroplasty For Displaced Intra-Capsular Femoral Neck Fractures In ASA 3-5 Geriatric Patients

W. Rezaie, W. Wei, B.I. Cleffken, C.H. van der Vlies, B.I. Cleffken, G.R. Roukema

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Background: The treatment of choice for elderly with a displaced intra-capsular femoral neck fractures is prosthetic replacement. This is however a major surgical procedure for geriatric patients with multiple co-morbidities which can threaten hemodynamic stability and lead to death. In this study we compared the outcome of internal fixation (IF) versus hemiarthroplasty (HA) for the management of intra-capsular femoral neck fractures in the elderly with severe co-morbidities. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all the patients who were admitted to our Level-II trauma centre with a femoral neck fracture between January 2009 and June 2011. Inclusion criteria were: 70 years or older, ASA 3 or higher, a displaced femoral neck fracture and treatment with either internal fixation or a cemented hemiprosthesis. The primary outcome was 6-month mortality rate. Secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality, post-operative complications, re-operation rate and length of hospital stay. Results: 80 patients met our inclusion criteria. The mean age of the IF group was 81.6 years and in the HA group it was 84.5 years (P=0.07). The medical records were retrieved 34-64 months after surgery. Two intra-operative deaths due to cement implantation syndrome were found in the HA group and none in the IF group. Twelve patients (21.8%) in the HA group died within 30 days after surgery and 2 (8.0%) in the IF group (P=0.21). The mean operating time was 83 min. for the HA group and 51 min. for the IF group (P=0.000). There were more implant-related complications in the IF than in the HA group (36% vs 9.1% respectively, P=0.008). The 6-month mortality rates didn’t differ between the IF and the HA groups (respectively 28.0% vs 34.5%, P=0.62). Conclusion: The post-operative mortality rates did not differ between the IF and the HA groups in elderly patients with a displaced femoral neck fracture and ASA 3 to 5. However, the HA associated with less implant-related complications than the IF in this group and it is therefore the treatment of choice.