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  • OPT Group

Distal femoral replacement or internal fixation for management of periprosthetic distal femur fractures: A systematic review


Background: The number of periprosthetic fractures above a total knee arthroplasty continues to increase. These fractures are associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Techniques for addressing these fractures include open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) and revision arthroplasty, including distal femoral replacement (DFR). The primary aim of this review is to compare mortality and reoperation rates between ORIF and DFR when used to treat periprosthetic distal femur fractures.

Methods: A systematic review including MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Library databases was completed from inception to April 10, 2021. Studies including a comparator cohort were meta-analyzed.

Results: Fourteen studies were identified for inclusion, of which, five had sufficient homogeneity for inclusion in a meta-analysis. 30-day and 2-year mortality was 4.1% and 14.6% in the DFR group. There was no statistically significant difference between ORIF and DFR (log Odds-Ratio (OR) = -0.14, 95 %CI: -0.77 to 0.50). The reoperation rate in the DFR group was 9.3% versus 14.8% for ORIF, with no difference between groups (log OR = 0.10, 95 %CI: -0.59 to 0.79). There was no difference in rates of deep infection (log OR = 0.22, 95 %CI: -0.83 to 1.28). Direct comparison of functional outcomes was not possible, though did not appear significant.

Conclusion: DFR in the setting of periprosthetic distal femur fractures is equivalent to ORIF with respect to mortality and reoperation rate and thus a safe and reliable treatment strategy. DFR may be more reliable in complex fracture patterns where the ability to obtain adequate fixation is difficult.

Keywords: Distal femur replacement; Fracture; Internal fixation; Periprosthetic; Total knee arthroplasty; Trauma.


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