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Risk Factors for Nonunion in Patients with Intracapsular Femoral Neck Fractures Treated with Three Cannulated Screws Placed in Either a Triangle or an Inverted Triangle Configuration
Jui-Jung Yang, MD1; Leou-Chyr Lin, MD1; Kuo-Hua Chao, MD1; Shih-Youeng Chuang, MD1; Chia-Chun Wu, MD1; Tsu-Te Yeh, MD1; Yu-Tung Lian, RN1
1 Department of Orthopedics, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, 325 Cheng-Gong Road Section 2, Taipei 114, Taiwan, Republic of China. E-mail address for L.-C. Lin: lchlin66@hotmail.com
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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopedics, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan



Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), has had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Jan 02;95(1):61-69. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.01081
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Abstract

Background: 

Intracapsular femoral neck fractures are associated with high rates of nonunion. We aimed to identify risk factors for nonunion in patients with both displaced and nondisplaced intracapsular femoral neck fractures treated with three 7-mm parallel cannulated screws, placed in either a triangle or an inverted triangle configuration, using failure of fixation as the primary outcome.

Methods: 

Clinical and radiographic data for patients with intracapsular femoral neck fractures treated with either triangle fixation (one proximal screw and two distal screws) or inverted triangle fixation (two proximal screws and one distal screw), between January 1, 2000, and July 30, 2009, were analyzed.

Results: 

A total of 202 patients, seventy-six men and 126 women with an average age (and standard deviation) of 64.53 ± 15.81 years (range, nineteen to ninety-three years), were included in the analysis. Union occurred in 158 patients, and nonunion occurred in forty-four. There were no differences between the union and nonunion groups with respect to age, sex, fracture side, fracture angle, fracture level, or estimated bone density. There were significant differences in fracture type, fixation configuration, reduction quality, and screw-tip subchondral purchase between patients with and without union. The estimated odds ratio for fracture nonunion was 2.93 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08, 7.96) in subjects with displaced fractures compared with those without displaced fractures (p = 0.035), 18.92 (95% CI, 1.91, 187.09) in subjects with borderline and unacceptable reduction compared with those with anatomic reduction (p = 0.012), and 2.92 (95% CI, 1.27, 6.69) for internal fixation with a triangle configuration compared with fixation with an inverted triangle configuration (p = 0.010).

Conclusions: 

Screw fixation with a triangle configuration, a displaced fracture, and poor reduction are risk factors for nonunion in intracapsular femoral neck fractures treated with fixation with multiple screws.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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