Fractures at the tip of long-stem prostheses used for revision hip arthroplasty
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We report a retrospective analysis of the incidence of intraoperative femur fractures at the tip of the prosthesis in 45 consecutive, uncemented, long (205-mm), straight hydroxyapatite, fully coated stems used for revision arthroplasty of the hip. Five patients were lost to follow-up. Intraoperative fractures of the distal femur occurred in 7 cases (17.5%). In the remaining 33 cases in which no fracture occurred, the tip of the implanted stem was found to be potentially at risk for causing a fracture in 18 (55%) cases. We concluded that uncemented, 205-mm, straight femoral stems should be used with caution in the setting of revision hip surgery. A bowed stem of that length may be a safer alternative. Otherwise, a shorter, straight stem may reduce the risk of complications at the stem tip.
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