Complications following young femoral neck fractures
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BACKGROUND: Femoral neck fractures in patients 60 years of age or younger are challenging injuries to treat because of the high-energy trauma mechanisms and the displaced fracture patterns typically found in this patient population. Understanding the burden of disease is an important first step in addressing treatment controversies in this population. The purpose of the current study is to quantitatively pool the incidence of patient important complications following internal fixation of young femoral neck fractures. METHODS: A comprehensive search of the Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Central databases was completed under the direction of a biomedical librarian. Multiple outcomes of interest (complications) were collected and included: reoperation, femoral head avascular necrosis, fracture non-union, infection, implant failure, and malunion. RESULTS: 1558 fractures from 41 studies were included in the meta-analysis. An18.0% pooled reoperation incidence was observed for isolated femoral neck fractures. The total pooled incidence of avascular necrosis (AVN) was 14.3%, and the total incidence of nonunion was 9.3%. When stratified for fracture displacement displaced fractures were more likely to undergo reoperation and to result in AVN or non-union. The total incidence of malunion was 7.1%, implant failure was 9.7%, and surgical site infection was 5.1%. Complications associated with a femoral neck fracture treated in conjunction with an ipsilateral femoral shaft fracture were lower overall than the pooled estimates for isolated neck fractures. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our analysis demonstrate that the incidence of complications experienced by young femoral neck fracture patients is relatively high. Reoperation following internal fixation of isolated femoral neck fractures occurred in nearly 20% of cases, and AVN and nonunion were the most common complications that likely contributed to repeat surgeries. These results highlight the importance of further efforts to improve the clinical outcomes in this population.
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