Arterial injury is a rare complication of hip fracture surgery. The few
reported cases have been caused by penetration of the artery by a drill,
screw, retractor, or, less commonly, displaced fracture
Lazarides et al.1
mentioned an injury attributed to manipulation in their literature review on
the topic, but the source of this report was not clearly identified and we
were unable to locate the original reference.We present a case in which an arterial injury was discovered on the morning
after closed reduction and plate fixation of a comminuted intertrochanteric
hip fracture. The vascular injury was located substantially distal to the
fracture and the area of instrumentation, leading us to conclude that it
occurred as a result of intraoperative fracture reduction or traction.
Potential risk factors for such an event are discussed.