PURPOSE: Although originally designed for reconstruction after primary malignant bone tumour resection, modular endoprosthetic replacement (EPR) can be used in salvage surgery for complex periprosthetic fracture and failed internal fixation. The purpose of this study was to assess the functional outcome following EPR for failed internal fixation of the proximal femur. METHODS: We assessed clinical and functional outcomes of using a modular tumour endoprosthesis to reconstruct the proximal femur following failed internal fixation in eight consecutive patients between 2001 and 2008. RESULTS: There were four men and four women, with a mean age of 67.5 (range 50-79) years and a mean follow-up of 16.5 (6-36) months. All patients had failed internal fixation for traumatic proximal femoral fractures--four 31.A2.3, two 31.A3.1, two 31.A3.3 using the Arbeitsgemeinshaft für Osteosynthesefragen (AO) fracture classification. Mean time from the first attempted internal fixation to definitive EPR was 34 (6-102) months, and the median number of previous surgical procedures was two (1-11). Histology revealed infection (two cases), uninfected nonunion (five cases) and plasmocytoma (one case). The EPR was carried out as a one-stage procedure in six cases and a two-stage procedure in two cases. Mean postoperative Harris Hip Score was 71.4 (range 64-85). There were no surgical complications. One patient died as a result of systemic complications of myeloma several years following EPR. CONCLUSIONS: EPR is an effective salvage procedure for failed fixation of traumatic proximal femoral fractures. Immediate weightbearing and a good functional outcome can be expected in this difficult group of patients.
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Aged, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Female, Fracture Fixation, Internal, Fractures, Ununited, Hip Fractures, Hip Prosthesis, Humans, Leg Injuries, Limb Salvage, Male, Middle Aged, Recovery of Function