When is hemiarthroplasty preferable to intramedullary prophylactic fixation of malignant lesions of the proximal femur?

Lin JS, Santiago-Torres JE, Everhart JS, Zayan NE, Mayerson JL, Scharschmidt TJ
J Surg Oncol 116 1132-1140 12/01/2017


BACKGROUND: Malignant hip lesions can be managed operatively by intramedullary (IM) nail fixation and hemiarthroplasty.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed on 86 patients who underwent hemiarthroplasty (n = 22) or IM nail fixation (n = 64) for prophylactic treatment of impending pathologic fracture due to malignant lesions of the hip. Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression modeling were performed to determine risk of death, fixation failure, pain relief, and return to ambulation without gait aids.

RESULTS: Median survival time after surgery was 8.8 months (with no difference in survival between hemiarthroplasty and IM nail [adjusted Hazard Ratio 1.40, CI 0.72, 2.53; P = 0.31]). Hemiarthroplasty was associated with lower risk of pathologic fracture, fixation failure, or reoperation (adjusted HR 0.02, CI < 0.001, 0.48; P = 0.01). Hemiarthroplasty did not increase odds of unassisted ambulation compared to IM nail fixation (adjusted Odds Ratio [OR] 2.23, CI 0.56, 9.71; P = 0.26). The strongest predictor of postoperative ambulation was preoperative ambulation without aids (adjusted OR 28.9, CI 7.37, 161; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference in survival or likelihood of unassisted ambulation after prophylactic femoral fixation with IM nails versus hemiarthroplasty in patients with metastatic disease of proximal femur.

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