Does delay to theatre influence morbidity or mortality in femoral periprosthetic fractures?

Kennedy, John W. and Rooney, Elliot J. and Ryan, Paul J. and Siva, Soorya and Kennedy, Matthew J. and Wheelwright, Ben and Young, David and Meek, R. M. D. (2024) Does delay to theatre influence morbidity or mortality in femoral periprosthetic fractures? Bone & Joint Open, 5 (6). pp. 452-456. (

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Aims Femoral periprosthetic fractures are rising in incidence. Their management is complex and carries a high associated mortality. Unlike native hip fractures, there are no guidelines advising on time to theatre in this group. We aim to determine whether delaying surgical intervention influences morbidity or mortality in femoral periprosthetic fractures. Methods We identified all periprosthetic fractures around a hip or knee arthroplasty from our prospectively collated database between 2012 and 2021. Patients were categorized into early or delayed intervention based on time from admission to surgery (early = ≤ 36 hours, delayed > 36 hours). Patient demographics, existing implants, Unified Classification System fracture subtype, acute medical issues on admission, preoperative haemoglobin, blood transfusion requirement, and length of hospital stay were identified for all patients. Complication and mortality rates were compared between groups. Results A total of 365 patients were identified: 140 in the early and 225 in the delayed intervention group. Mortality rate was 4.1% at 30 days and 19.2% at one year. There was some indication that those who had surgery within 36 hours had a higher mortality rate, but this did not reach statistical significance at 30 days (p = 0.078) or one year (p = 0.051). Univariate analysis demonstrated that age, preoperative haemoglobin, acute medical issue on admission, and the presence of postoperative complications influenced 30-day and one-year mortality. Using a multivariate model, age and preoperative haemoglobin were independently predictive factors for one-year mortality (odds ratio (OR) 1.071; p < 0.001 and OR 0.980; p = 0.020). There was no association between timing of surgery and postoperative complications. Postoperative complications were more likely with increasing age (OR 1.032; p = 0.001) and revision arthroplasty compared to internal fixation (OR 0.481; p = 0.001). Conclusion While early intervention may be preferable to reduce prolonged immobilization, there is no evidence that delaying surgery beyond 36 hours increases mortality or complications in patients with a femoral periprosthetic fracture.