Periprosthetic osseointegration fractures are infrequent and management is familiar

J. S. Hoellwarth*, K. Tetsworth, J. Kendrew, N. V. Kang, O. Van Waes, Q. Al-Maawi, C. Roberts, M. Al Muderis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Aims Osseointegrated prosthetic limbs allow better mobility than socket-mounted prosthetics for lower limb amputees. Fractures, however, can occur in the residual limb, but they have rarely been reported. Approximately 2% to 3% of amputees with socket-mounted prostheses may fracture within five years. This is the first study which directly addresses the risks and management of periprosthetic osseointegration fractures in amputees. Methods A retrospective review identified 518 osseointegration procedures which were undertaken in 458 patients between 2010 and 2018 for whom complete medical records were available. Potential risk factors including time since amputation, age at osseointegration, bone density, weight, uni/bilateral implantation and sex were evaluated with multiple logistic regression. The mechanism of injury, technique and implant that was used for fixation of the fracture, pre-osseointegration and post fracture mobility (assessed using the K-level) and the time that the prosthesis was worn for in hours/day were also assessed. Results There were 22 periprosthetic fractures; they occurred exclusively in the femur: Two in the femoral neck, 14 intertrochanteric and six subtrochanteric, representing 4.2% of 518 osseointegration operations and 6.3% of 347 femoral implants. The vast majority (19/22, 86.4%) occurred within 2 cm of the proximal tip of the implant and after a fall. No fractures occurred spontaneously. Fixation most commonly involved dynamic hip screws (10) and reconstruction plates (9). No osseointegration implants required removal, the K-level was not reduced after fixation of the fracture in any patient, and all retained a K-level of = 2. All fractures united, 21 out of 22 patients (95.5%) wear their osseointegration-mounted prosthetic limb longer daily than when using a socket, with 18 out of 22 (81.8%) reporting using it for = 16 hours daily. Regression analysis identified a 3.89-fold increased risk of fracture for females (p = 0.007) and a 1.02-fold increased risk of fracture per kg above a mean of 80.4 kg (p = 0.046). No increased risk was identified for bilateral implants (p = 0.083), time from amputation to osseointegration (p = 0.974), age at osseointegration (p = 0.331), or bone density (g/cm2, p = 0.560; T-score, p = 0.247; Z-score, p = 0.312). Conclusion The risks and sequelae of periprosthetic fracture after press-fit osseointegration for amputation should not deter patients or clinicians from considering this procedure. Females and heavier patients are likely to have an increased risk of fracture. Age, years since amputation, and bone density do not appear influential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Volume102 B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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