Andrew R. Noble, MD1, Daniel B. Branham, MD1, Mark C. Willis, MD1, John R. Owen, BS1, Benjamin W. Cramer, BS1, Jennifer S. Wayne, PhD1 and William A. Jiranek, MD1 1 Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980694, Richmond, VA 23298. E-mail address for W.A. Jiranek: email@example.com
Background: The extended trochanteric osteotomy was introduced as a safe and effective exposure technique for revision hip surgery; however, intraoperative iatrogenic femoral fractures have been reported. This study examined the effects of the extended trochanteric osteotomy on the torsional strength of the femur with use of cadaver bones. We hypothesized that repair of the osteotomy fragment would restore the torsional strength to that of an intact femur and that an osteotomized femur containing a well-fixed stem would have the same torsional strength as an intact femur with a stem.
Methods: Fifty-eight cadaveric human femora were divided into five groups, according to the repair technique, to examine the effects of the extended trochanteric osteotomy: intact, osteotomy, repaired osteotomy, implant, and implant-repaired osteotomy. Osteotomy fragments were reattached with use of three double-looped 18-gauge wires. A femoral stem was cemented into the last two groups. Specimens were tested mechanically in rotation until failure. Rotational properties were compared with one-way analysis of variance followed by post hoc pairwise comparisons. Linear regression analysis was performed for bone mineral density and torsional strength.
Results: Torque to failure was reduced by 73% for the specimens in the osteotomy group compared with the intact group (p < 0.0001). Repair of the osteotomy did not improve torque to failure (p > 0.99). Femora in the implant-repaired osteotomy group displayed significantly improved torque-to-failure values compared with the specimens in the osteotomy and repaired osteotomy groups (p < 0.0001). However, the strength of the femora in the implant-repaired osteotomy group remained significantly less than that of the specimens in the implant group (p < 0.007). A significant linear relationship was observed between bone mineral density and torque to failure for femora in the intact (p < 0.006), osteotomy (p < 0.002), and repaired osteotomy (p < 0.001) groups.
Conclusions: The extended trochanteric osteotomy reduces torsional strength by 73% even when the osteotomy fragment is repaired. Bone mineral density directly affects absolute femoral strength in this model.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American). 2005;87:521-529.