Controversy exists with regard to whether to treat AO/OTA 31-A2 fractures of the proximal part of the femur with an intramedullary device or an extramedullary device. A prospective, randomized, controlled trial was performed to compare the outcome of treatment of these unstable fractures of the proximal part of the femur with either a sliding hip screw or a long gamma nail.Methods:
Two hundred and ten patients presenting with an AO/OTA 31-A2 fracture of the proximal part of the femur were randomized, at the time of admission, to fixation with use of either a long gamma nail or a sliding hip screw. The primary outcome measure was reoperation within the first postoperative year. Secondary measures included mortality, length of hospital stay, transfusion rate, change in mobility and residence, and quality of life as measured with the EuroQol 5D outcome score.Results:
There was no significant difference between the reoperation rates for the two groups. In total, five patients (three from the long-gamma-nail group and two from the sliding-hip-screw group) underwent revision surgery because of cut-out. Tip-apex distance was found to correlate with the implant cut-out rate. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the EuroQol 5D outcome scores, the mortality rates after correction for the mini-mental score, or any of the secondary outcome measures.Conclusions:
When compared with the long gamma nail, the sliding hip screw should remain the gold standard for the treatment of AO/OTA 31-A2 fractures of the proximal part of the femur because it is associated with similar outcomes with less expense.Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.