Intertrochanteric Femur Fracture Stability: A Surrogate for General Health in Elderly Patients?

Pramod B. Voleti, Stephen Y. Liu, Keith D. Baldwin, Samir Mehta, Derek J. Donegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Intertrochanteric (IT) femur fractures are common in elderly patients who are often in poor general health. Intertrochanteric fractures are classified as stable or unstable, taking into account fracture morphology and involvement of the posteromedial calcar. The purpose of this study is to determine whether IT fracture stability can be used as a marker for general health or as a predictor of postoperative medical complications in elderly patients. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the records of all patients treated for IT fractures at our institution over the past 7 years. We excluded patients who were younger than 60 years, polytraumatized, involved in high-energy mechanisms of injury, managed nonoperatively, with hardware from previous surgery, or missing preoperative radiographs. Ninety-three patients were included in the present series. Three orthopedic surgeons independently reviewed all preoperative radiographs and classified each fracture as either stable or unstable. Interrater reliability was.77 (substantial) and consensus designation was assigned by majority. We reviewed charts for age, gender, time to surgery, length of hospital stay, type of surgery, estimated blood loss, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, and postoperative medical complications. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted to determine the relationship of fracture stability on ASA class and medical complications. Results: Intertrochanteric fracture stability had no detectable relationship with ASA class (P =.497). On univariate analysis, stability was not significantly related to medical complications (P =.421). Our multivariate analysis found that only ASA was related to medical complications (P =.004), and fracture stability was not related to complications (P =.538). Conclusion: Intertrochanteric fracture stability does not appear to be a marker for poor general health or to predict postoperative medical complications in elderly patients in this limited study. ASA class was predictive of medical complications. Interestingly, medical complications were 8% greater in patients with unstable fractures than in patients with stable fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • intertrochanteric femur fractures
  • intertrochanteric fracture stability
  • medical complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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