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Fractures After Hip or Knee Replacement

Posted on: 09/14/2006
As adults in the United States live longer, more and more are having hip or knee replacements. Older adults with joint implants are also at increased risk for falls and fracture.

Twenty-four (24) women with hip or knee replacement and fracture of the femur from a fall were included in this study. They were all treated with the Less Invasive Stabilization System (LISS). The LISS is a locking plate device that was designed for use with fractures of the distal femur (near the knee).

The authors expected to find a lower rate of complications after treating the fracture with an LISS compared with treatment using other fixation devices. The LISS was used with 10 fractures located just below the hip prosthesis, nine above the knee implant, and five in patients with both a total hip and a total knee replacement on the same side.

The results were so favorable that none of the authors want to use or study other treatment options. Problems occurred in only one patient. This was a five per cent complication rate compared to 15 to 57 per cent reported with other devices.

New fractures, failure to heal, infections, and implant loosening are common problems for patients with a fracture after joint replacement. There were no infections and only one fixation failure for the women in this study. This study shows the usefulness of the LISS for femoral fractures in older adults with joint replacements.

Robert V. O'Toole, MD, et al. Low Complication Rate of LISS for Femur Fractures Adjacent to Stable Hip or Knee Arthroplasty. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. September 2006. No. 450. Pp. 203-210.

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