Conversion arthroplasty after failed extracapsular hip fracture fixation is associated with high complication rates

Conversion arthroplasties have high complication rates



conversion arthroplasty, unstable hip fracture, hip arthroplasty


Background/Aim: There is no standard treatment of choice that addresses all extracapsular fractures, which account for approximately half of the elderly hip fractures. Arthroplasty is mostly favored secondary to unsuccessful fixation or unstable primary fractures. However, conversion arthroplasty complication rates are high in the literature. This study compares arthroplasty performed after unsuccessful fixation and primary arthroplasty for unstable extracapsular hip fractures.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we compared the first-year results of the groups that underwent conversion arthroplasty (cHA) and the primary arthroplasties (pHA) for extracapsular hip fractures. In the cHA group, patients were indicated for operation if there was a failure of fixation after extracapsular hip fractures (n=44). In the pHA group, patients were for unstable extracapsular hip fractures (n=44). In the cHA group, failure of fixation causes were cut-out of lag screws (54.5%), cut-through of lag screws (9.1%), non-union of fractures (27.3%), and osteonecrosis of femoral heads (9.1%). While total hip replacement was applied to all patients in the cHA group, total hip replacement was applied to ten patients in the pHA group and hemiarthroplasty to 34 patients. In comparing groups, duration of operation, amount of bleeding, intraoperative complications, post-operative complications, mobilization capacities, functional status, and mortality rates were used.

Results: There were 44 patients in both groups. The surgical time (134.3 [34.5)] vs. 66 [16], [P<0.001]), the amount of bleeding (1000 ml [400] vs. 300ml [200], [P<0.001]), the need for red blood cell transfusion in the operations (80% vs. 32%, [P<0.001]), and the frequency of intraoperative femur fracture (30% vs. 0%, [P<0.001]) were larger or longer in the cHA group compared to pHA group (P<0.001). While 14 complications requiring surgical intervention were observed in 12 of 44 patients in the CHA group in the post-operative 1st year, four complications were observed in four of 44 patients in the pHA group. There was no difference in mortality rates (3 vs. 3, [P =1]), mobilization capacities (5.9 [2.1] vs. 5.7 [2.0], [P=0.597]), and functional status (12.5 [3.3] vs. 13.0 [2.7], [P=0.434]) between the groups.

Conclusion: Arthroplasty performed as conversion surgery after unsuccessful fixation has a higher risk of intraoperative and post-operative complications than primary arthroplasty performed after extracapsular hip fractures. We believe the cases prone to implant failure, non-union, or restricted mobilization because of the patient and fracture-type reasons should be treated with primary arthroplasty.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Çaylak R, Ors C, Togrul E. Conversion arthroplasty after failed extracapsular hip fracture fixation is associated with high complication rates: Conversion arthroplasties have high complication rates. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2023 Jan. 24 [cited 2024 Jul. 15];7(1):107-11. Available from: