Complications of Locked Plates on Femur Fractures
Femur fracture research has been a focus of the medical community over the past few years. This is because these types of fractures have the potential to lead to long-term complications. To keep this from happening, doctors and researchers have come up with multiple ways to repair these fractures. One standard option today is the use of metal plates and screws.
When an orthopedic surgeon repairs a femur fracture using plates and screws, he or she is trying to hold together the bone fragments while they heal. The plates will be used to keep the bones in place, allowing the bone to strengthen to its original form. Unfortunately, non-union can sometimes result following this type of repair.
A fracture non-union is a severe complication that can prolong patient morbidity and impact functional recovery. A recently published research study looked at the factors that increase the rate of non-union in a femur fracture repair with locked plating.
The Study Methods
The research article was published in the Injury journal. The authors conducted a systematic review of all of the available research regarding non-union of locked plating used to repair femur fractures. Through several different electronic research databases, they looked for studies analyzing fracture non-union in patients who had their injuries repaired with locked plating.
Once the researchers gathered the studies, they analyzed the quality of the results using the standards set by their medical specialty. Overall, the researchers found eight studies that were published regarding the rates of femur fracture non-union using locked plating. In total, these eight studies involved close to 1,400 cases. Then, the researchers reviewed the rates of non-union, trying to find factors that would increase the risk of non-union.
The Results of the Study: Factors Contributing to Non-Union
The researchers took the results from the studies and combined them. They sorted the factors that the individual studies analyzed and placed them in a large, statistical analysis program. Finally, the scientists analyzed the trends, looking for factors that increased the risk of femur fracture non-union. The factors include:
- An Elevated BMI: One of the most critical factors predictive of femur fracture non-union was the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the patient. A BMI in the overweight or obese category significantly increased the chances of a fracture non-union.
- An Open Fracture: Perhaps not surprisingly, open fractures had a much higher rate of non-union. When the fracture is open, the bone fragments are already out of place and need to be reduced. This makes the fracture much harder to repair.
- Fracture Site Infection: The presence of a fracture site infection significantly increased the chances of non-union. The presence of bacteria can damage the bone as it is trying to heal, making the healing process more complicated.
- Use of Stainless Steel: Stainless steel increases the rate of femur fracture non-union. Based on this information, it might be better for the surgeon to use a different type of metal.
The researchers also found that minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis led to a lower rate of femur fracture non-union. Because of this, it might be a good idea to explore this repair option. It may lead to improved patient outcomes.
Moving Forward: More Research on Femur Fractures is Needed
This information is important because it sheds some light on why femur fracture non-union occurs. If someone has been diagnosed with non-union of an upper leg fracture, he or she might be facing a return trip to the operating room. This can significantly lengthen the recovery process.
Future research needs to focus on why these factors increase the rate of non-union following a broken femur. Studies should also look at minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis as an effective repair option. Anything that lowers the rate of non-union in the repair of a bone fracture needs to be explored. It might help patients recover more quickly, allowing them to resume their daily lives.
Watch YouTube Video: This following video entitled: Femur Fracture & Types of Femur Bone Fracture discusses the different types of femur fractures.
Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Femur Fracture Lawyer. This systematic review revealed some interesting factors contributing to malunion in femur fracture repairs. If someone you know has sustained a femur fracture following a severe accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
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