• Vol. 40 No. 11, 482–487
  • 15 October 2011

Clinical Outcome Following Treatment of Stable and Unstable Intertrochanteric Fractures with Dynamic Hip Screw



Introduction: Intertrochanteric (IT) fractures are associated with significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly population. We aim to compare the clinical outcome of unstable with stable IT fractures after treatment with dynamic hip screw (DHS).

Materials and Methods: Patients with IT fractures treated with DHS at National University Hospital between 2003 and 2005 were included in the study. Patients were divided into 2 groups: stable and unstable IT fractures. Clinical outcome parameters include perioperative complications, functional outcomes, and incidence of morbidity and mortality.

Results: One hundred and thirty-six patients were analysed. Mean age was 77 years. There were 61 stable and 78 unstable fractures. Average length of follow-up was 30 months. The rates of local complications were not significantly different between the 2 groups. The incidence of malunion and excessive impaction were significantly higher in the unstable group. The ambulatory status at one year post-surgery was not significantly different between the 2 groups. In terms of general postoperative complications and one year mortality rate, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups. The need for blood transfusion was significantly higher in the unstable group.

Conclusion: In summary, DHS fixation provides comparable postoperative outcomes in unstable IT fractures with relatively low rates of complications. Although it was associated with a higher incidence of malunion and excessive impaction in the unstable fracture group, there was no difference in functional status at one-year compared to the stable group.

Intertrochanteric (IT) fracture is among the most common orthopedic injuries in the elderly population, and is associated with osteoporosis. It usually occurs as a result of low energy trauma e.g. trivial falls. It carries considerable morbidity and mortality. In Singapore, there has been an increase in the incidence of hip fractures from 1.17 per 1000 in females who are 60 years or older from 1957 to 1965, to 1.5 per 1000 in 1985. Surgical treatment of IT fractures aims to achieve early mobility and to restore the patient’s walking ability to the pre-injury level.

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