The aim of this study was to assess functional and radiological results following cephalomedullary nailing with and without use of auxiliary cable cerclages in a large series of trochanteric and subtrochanteric femoral fractures.
In a retrospective study of prospectively collected data between January 2014 and March 2019, a total of 260 consecutive patients (155 women and 105 men) with the diagnosis of AO/OTA A1 to A3 fractures were included. The mean age of patients was 76.4 ± 15.6 years. According to the AO/OTA classification, 72 A1 fractures, 124 A2 fractures, and 64 A3 fractures were found. In 72 patients with auxiliary cerclage wiring three A1 fractures, 27 A2 fractures and 42 A3 fractures were assessed. In the patient group with auxiliary cerclages, fracture healing according to the Radiographic Union Score for Hip (RUSH) within one year after surgery was assessed in 68 out of 72 patients (healing rate 94%). The mean RUSH in the group with cerclages was 28.7 ± 2.2 points and was 28.5 ± 2.2 points in the group without cerclages (p = 0.72). In 91 patients available for a complete follow-up, mean functional outcome according to the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) was 65.3 ± 17.2 points in the group with cerclages versus 58.4 ± 21 points in the group without cerclages (p = 0.04).
The additional use of cerclages provides intrinsic stability and enables axial alignment and medial cortical support during anatomical fracture reduction and cephalomedullary nail insertion. In the current study, this technique resulted in significantly better functional long-term outcomes than without cerclages. Therefore, it can be recommended as a useful supportive tool especially in comminuted trochanteric and subtrochanteric fractures. Trial registration number DRKS00020550, 01/30/2020, retrospectively registered.
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