Finite element comparison of retrograde intramedullary nailing and locking plate fixation with/without an intramedullary allograft for distal femur fracture following total knee arthroplasty

Shih Hao Chen, Ming Chieh Chiang, Ching-Hua Hung*, Shang Chih Lin, Hsiao Wei Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Periprosthetic distal femur fracture after total knee arthroplasty due to the stress-shielding phenomenon is a challenging problem. Retrograde intramedullary nail (RIMN) or locking plate (LP) fixation with/without a strut allograft has been clinically used via less invasive stabilization surgery (LISS) for the treatment of these periprosthetic fractures. However, their biomechanical differences in construct stability and implant stress have not been extensively studied, especially for the osteoporotic femur. Methods: This study used a finite-element method to evaluate the differences between RIMN, LP, and LP/allograft fixation in treating periprosthetic distal femur fractures. There were sixteen variations of two fracture angles (transverse and oblique), two loading conditions (compression and rotation), and four bony conditions (one normal and three osteoporotic). Construct stiffness, fracture micromotion, and implant stress were chosen as the comparison indices. Results: The LP/allograft construct provides both lateral and middle supports to the displaced femur. Comparatively, the LP and RIMN constructs, respectively, transmit the loads through the lateral and middle paths, thus providing more unstable support to the construct and high stressing on the implants. The fracture pattern plays a minor role in the construct stabilization of the three implants. In general, the biomechanical performances of the RIMN and LP constructs were comparable and significantly inferior to those of the LP/allograft construct. The bone quality should be evaluated prior to the selection of internal fixators. Conclusions: The LP/allograft construct significantly stabilizes the fracture gap, reduces the implant stress, and serves as the recommended fixation for periprosthetic distal femur fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalKnee
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Distal femur fracture
  • Intramedullary
  • Intramedullary allograft
  • Knee arthroplasty
  • Osteoporotic femur
  • Retrograde nail

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