The use of a Gotfried percutaneous compression plate provides a minimally invasive technique for the fixation of intertrochanteric proximal femoral fractures. The purpose of this study was to determine if the percutaneous compression plate provided advantages compared with the sliding hip screw for treatment of A1 and A2 AO/OTA intertrochanteric proximal femoral fractures.Methods:
An institutional review board-approved, prospective, randomized, single-blinded study was conducted at a level-I trauma center between July 2004 and September 2007. All patients who met the study criteria and provided informed consent were randomized to treatment with a sliding hip screw or percutaneous compression plate. Of the sixty-six patients who consented to participate, thirty-three were randomized to be treated with a sliding hip screw and thirty-three, with a percutaneous compression plate. Data evaluated included surgical time, incision length, blood loss, need for blood transfusion, and postoperative functional status. Follow-up included clinical findings, radiographs until healing was confirmed, functional and pain assessment scores, and the Short Form-36. The median follow-up period for surviving patients was thirty-six months.Results:
Sixty-six patients, forty-seven women and nineteen men, with a mean age of seventy-seven years were entered into the study. The treatment groups were similar with respect to study variables (p > 0.05). Operative times (forty-eight vs. seventy-eight minutes), incision length (56 vs. 82 mm), and blood loss (41 vs. 101 mL) significantly favored the percutaneous compression plate group (p < 0.001). The groups were similar immediately postoperatively; however, by discharge, fewer patients with a percutaneous compression plate required walking aids (40% vs. 59%). This trend continued throughout the study but was not significant. Pain with activity was lower throughout the study for the percutaneous compression plate group, but the difference was significant only at the three-month interval.Conclusions:
Previously published reports showing shorter operative times and less blood loss with the percutaneous compression plate were reaffirmed. Compared with the sliding hip screw, the percutaneous compression plate resulted in a larger percentage of patients who were able to walk independently, consistently lower levels of pain with activity, and improved quality of life according to multiple scales of the Short Form-36, but the differences were not significant. Significant differences favoring the percutaneous compression plate were found with regard to operating times, incision length, and blood loss.Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.