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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 514-519

Primary nonunion of intertrochanteric fractures of femur: An analysis of results of valgization and bone grafting

Department of Orthopedics, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Dilshad Garden, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
I K Dhammi
Department of Orthopedics, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Dilshad Garden, Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.87122

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Background: Nonunion of intertrochanteric fractures is uncommon because there is excellent blood supply and good cancellous bone in the intertrochanteric region of the femur. A diagnosis of primary intertrochanteric nonunion is made when at least 15 weeks after the fracture there is radiological evidence of a fracture line, with either no callus (atrophic) or with callus that does not bridge the fracture site (hypertrophic). There is only one published series that exclusively describes seven primary nonunions of intertrochanteric fractures. The aim of the present study was to analyze the results of internal fixation, valgization with 135΀ dynamic hip screw (DHS), and bone grafting in patients with primary nonunion of intertrochanteric fractures. Materials and Methods: Eighteen patients with primary intertrochanteric nonunion were included in the study; 16 were male and 2 were female. The age range was 30-70 years (mean: 46.9 years). The mean duration since index injury was 8.5 months (range: 4-18 months). As per the AO classification, the fractures were 31A 1.1 (n=1), 1.2 (n=1), 2.2 (n=3), 2.3 (n=9), and 3.3 (n=4). Three patients had hypermobile nonunion and 15 had stiff nonunion. The surgical principle was excision of pseudarthrosis, if present (n=3); freshening of the bone ends; stable fixation with 135΀ DHS, with good proximal purchase; bone grafting; and valgization. Results: Union was achieved in all patients at an average of 5.62 months (range: 4-7 months). The Harris hip score improved from 38 points preoperatively to 86 postoperatively at healing. The average limb shortening improved by 2 cm (range: 1.5 cm-3 cm). There was no infection and pain at the hip at final follow-up in any of the cases. All patients were subjectively satisfied with the outcome. All were capable of full weight bearing on their affected limb. Conclusion: Union in primary nonunion of intertrochanteric fractures in physiologically young patients with a well-preserved femoral head and good bone stock can be achieved with internal fixation, valgization, and grafting procedures.

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