Periprosthetic femoral fractures above total knee replacements can be managed by a variety of methods, including casting, open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation, or revision arthroplasty. Because no single method has emerged as the optimal choice for all such fractures, it is important to understand which options are appropriate for each fracture pattern. Early classification systems focused on displacement as a major indication for either surgical or nonsurgical management. However, recent techniques and current implants have made surgical management preferable for most periprosthetic fractures. Classification based on fracture location can help guide such treatment. Generally, intramedullary nails are best for proximal fractures, fixed-angle devices for fractures originating at the component, and revision arthroplasty for very distal fractures or those with implant loosening.
J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2004;12