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Peri-prosthetic fractures (PPF) are a recognised complication following hip arthroplasty. Prosthesis design and type influence PPF pattern. Surgeons rely on classification systems, such as the Vancouver, to aid treatment planning. This study highlights a specific fracture pattern that occurs with cemented well-fixed polished, tapered, collarless (PTC) stems. We reviewed a consecutive series of 21 PPF around well fixed PTC stems. The majority of the fractures were classified pre-operatively as Vancouver B2 (14/21), but there were also B1 (6/21) and A type fractures. The B2 fractures had common radiological and intra-operative findings: a spiral fracture with extensive fragmentation of bone and cement, debonding of cement from the implant, cement fracture, and a well-fixed cement-bone interface. Reconstruction of these fractures was more difficult than suggested by the radiographs. Two of the six patients who were considered to have a Vancouver B1 fracture underwent open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), and had treatment-related complications. Retrospective review of the radiographs showed subtle features, such as subsidence of the stem into the centraliser, that are characteristic of a B2 fracture pattern. In summary, it is important to recognise this fracture pattern around secure PTC stems in order to prevent misinterpretation of the fracture as a Vancouver B1 rather than a B2, leading to failure of treatment, and to alert the surgeon that complex reconstruction will be required because of the extensive fragmentation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1271 - 1276


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Bone Cements, Female, Femoral Fractures, Fracture Fixation, Internal, Hip Prosthesis, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Periprosthetic Fractures, Prosthesis Design, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Failure