Periprosthetic Femoral Fractures in the Emergency Department: What the Orthopedic Surgeon Wants to Know.
Radiographics. 2017 Jul-Aug;37(4):1202-1217. doi: 10.1148/rg.2017160127. Epub 2017 Jun 16. Marshall RA1, Weaver MJ1, Sodickson A1, Khurana B1.
Femoral fracture in the setting of a hip arthroplasty is an increasingly common complication encountered in the emergency department (ED). Diagnosis and management of periprosthetic fractures are complicated, and orthopedic surgeons rely on imaging findings to guide the appropriate management approach to the injury. Delay in identification and appropriate definitive management of periprosthetic fractures is associated with high morbidity and mortality. At present, the Vancouver classification system for periprosthetic hip fractures is the most common classification system used by orthopedic surgeons. It relies on three radiographic criteria-fracture location, prosthesis stability, and quality of the femoral bone stock-to characterize these fractures and to help guide management decisions. Familiarly with the Vancouver classification system allows radiologists to both recognize and communicate the most clinically relevant imaging findings to the treating orthopedic surgeon. This article reviews the imaging workup for hip pain in patients with a femoral prosthesis, risk factors for periprosthetic fracture, and the expected normal appearance of the most commonly encountered types of femoral prostheses. Fracture terminology and the Vancouver classification system are reviewed in a simplified algorithm with emphasis on the most common patterns of periprosthetic fractures, the radiologic determinants of prosthesis stability and bone quality, and the management implications of these imaging findings. Finally, multiple instructive clinical cases are used to demonstrate critical application of the classification system and to highlight the clinical implications of the imaging findings. ©RSNA, 2017.