Periprosthetic fractures are most commonly classified according to the Vancouver classification system and more recently the Unified Classification System. The aim of this study is to provide a descriptive analysis of fracture patterns in femoral periprosthetic fractures (PPFs) by femoral stem fixation.
A retrospective observational study of all femoral PPFs over a 10-year period at our institution was conducted. Presenting radiographs were examined to assess the fracture pattern.
Over the 10-year period, 138 femoral PPFs that underwent operative treatment were examined. Mean age of patients was 78 years with 45.7% male and median American Society of Anaesthesiologists grade 3. The femoral stem fixation was cemented in 83 patients and uncemented in 55 patients. Uncemented femoral stems most commonly caused a simple oblique fracture pattern (69.1%) with a more comminuted pattern seen in cemented fixation (59%).
Fracture patterns differ according to femoral stem fixation. A simple “sickle-like” oblique fracture pattern was more commonly seen in uncemented stems while cemented tapered stems resulted in a comminuted “axe splitting” pattern.