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Periprosthetic Fracture of the Acetabulum after Total Hip Arthroplasty*
CHARLES A. PETERSON II, M.D.†; DAVID G. LEWALLEN, M.D.‡, ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA
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Investigation performed at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1996 Aug 01;78(8):1206-13
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Abstract

Eleven patients who had sustained a periprosthetic fracture of the acetabulum at a mean of 6.2 years (range, one month to thirteen years) after a total hip arthroplasty were managed at our institution between 1985 and 1991. Five patients had a fracture of the medial wall; three, a fracture of the posterior column; two, a transverse fracture; and one, a fracture of the anterior column. Six fractures were displaced by two millimeters or more. Eight fractures were caused by blunt trauma or a fall, and three occurred spontaneously. A fracture was classified as type 1 if the acetabular component was clinically and radiographically stable (eight patients) and as type 2 if the component was unstable (three patients).One patient, who had a displaced type-2 fracture of the posterior column, died of an associated intrapelvic vascular injury. The other two patients who had a type-2 fracture were managed with revision of the acetabular component without supplemental plate fixation, immediately after the diagnosis of the fracture. The eight patients who had a type-1 fracture initially were managed with limitation of weight-bearing or modification of activity; in six of these patients, the fracture united without additional treatment.The ten surviving patients were followed for a mean of sixty-two months after the fracture. Eight of these patients—including four in whom a type-1 fracture had united after non-operative treatment—had a revision of the acetabular component because of pain, loosening, or non-union by the time of the most recent follow-up. Two patients (one of whom had a type-1 fracture and the other, a type-2 fracture) had multiple revisions of the acetabular component; both had supplemental internal fixation with a plate. All ten patients ultimately had a stable, functioning prosthesis.We conclude that periprosthetic acetabular fractures are associated with a poor prognosis with regard to the survival of the acetabular component but that it is possible to achieve union and to salvage a functional prosthesis in patients who have sustained such a fracture.

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    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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