Femoral neck fracture after removal of the compression hip screw from healed intertrochanteric fractures.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES To evaluate the incidence of femoral neck fracture (FNF) after removal of a compression hip screw (CHS) without trauma and to determine the risk factors for this type of fracture. DESIGN Retrospective study of consecutive patient series. SETTING University teaching hospital. PATIENTS Sixty-seven patients with a mean age of 65.3 years (45 women and 22 men). INTERVENTION A total of 67 implants were removed in the presence of bony consolidation of the fracture site; most of them were due to hardware pain. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The incidence of FNF after a CHS removal, clinical parameters (age, gender, bone mineral density, body mass index, and fracture stability), and radiologic parameters (the femoral neck-shaft angle, femoral neck width, distance between thread of lag screw, and neck cortex). Univariate analysis was performed for those parameters of the fracture group and the nonfracture group. To assess which variables were associated with FNF, a multiple logistic regression was used. RESULTS Six (9.0%) FNFs occurred within 1 month after a CHS removal. The mean anterior and lateral neck widths were significantly smaller, and the mean anterior and inferior thread-to-cortex distances were significantly shorter in the fracture group compared with the nonfracture group. The risk factor significantly associated with FNF was the inferior thread-to-cortex distance (odds ratio, 0.462; 95% confidence interval, 0.217-0.988). CONCLUSIONS CHS should not be removed routinely due to the risk of FNF. Furthermore, attention should be paid to at-risk patients with a hip screw positioned close to the inferior femoral neck cortex. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Prognostic level II.

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