With increasing life expectancy and number of total hip arthroplasties (THA), the need for revision surgery is increasing too. The aim of this study was to evaluate the optimal fracture treatment for a clinically characteristic Vancouver B1 fracture. We hypothesized that locking plate fixation has biomechanical advantages over fixation with a simple cerclage system. Additionally, we hypothesized that removal of the primary short stem and revision with a long stem would show biomechanical benefit. The biomechanical testing was performed with a static and a dynamic loading protocol on twenty 4th Generation sawbones. These were divided into four different groups (n = 5 each). In group 1, the primary uncemented short stem remained and the fracture was stabilized with a locking plate. In group 2, the primary stem remained and the fracture was stabilized with a cerclage stabilization system containing two stabilizers and four cerclages. In group 3, the primary stem was replaced by an uncemented long revision stem and the fracture was fixed with a locking plate. In group 4, the short stem was replaced by a long revision stem and the fracture was fixed with the cerclage system. Static testing revealed that the revision of the short stem with the long stem caused a 2-fold (p < 0.001, ANOVA) increase of axial stiffness. In dynamic testing, the number of cycles to failure was 4 times (p < 0.001, ANOVA) higher with the long revision stem. Compared to locked plating cerclage wiring demonstrated a 26% more cycles to failure (p = 0.031, ANOVA). The load to failure was 91% larger (p < 0.001, ANOVA) with the long revision stem and 11% smaller with locked plating (p < 0.001, ANOVA). In conclusion, the present biomechanical study indicates that periprosthetic Vancouver B1 fractures can be sufficiently fixed by simple cerclage systems. Revision with a long replacement stem provides a superior mechanical stability regardless of type of osteosynthesis fixation and is therefore a viable method in Vancouver B1 cases. A disadvantage of the cerclage system compared to plating is that an increased subsidence of the short stem was observed.
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