Indexed on: 15 Jan '09Published on: 15 Jan '09Published in: Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®
Many reported treatment methods for neglected femoral neck fractures do not always satisfactorily address nonunion, coxa vara, and limb shortening. We retrospectively reviewed the functional outcome of the modified Pauwels' intertrochanteric osteotomy in 48 adults (mean age, 48.1 years) to determine whether this approach would correct those problems. The average preoperative limb shortening was 2.7 cm (range, 1.5-5 cm) in 38 patients and mean neck-shaft angle was 107.3 degrees (range, 80 degrees -120 degrees ). The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 6.1 years; range, 2-16.5 years). Union was achieved in 44 of the 48 patients. Union also was achieved in two of the four nonunions after revision osteotomy. Postoperative avascular necrosis of the femoral head developed in two of the 48 patients after an average followup of 6 years. Limb-length equalization was achieved in 40 (83%) patients and 40 had near-normal gait. The average neck-shaft angle at the final followup was 132.7 degrees (range, 120 degrees -155 degrees ). The average Harris hip score was 86.7 points and Merle d'Aubigné-Postel score was 14.1. We believe the primary modified Pauwels' intertrochanteric osteotomy is a reliable alternative to achieve fracture healing in neglected femoral neck fractures and simultaneously correct associated coxa vara and shortening. A two-stage surgical incision makes the procedure simple and less demanding.Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.