Journal of Mid-life Health Journal of Mid-life Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 191-194

Conservative treatment of a femoral neck fracture following nail removal

1 Orthopaedics and Traumatology Residency, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
2 Department of Health Science - DISS, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Claudio Legnani
Orthopaedics and Traumatology Residency, University of Milan, Milan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-7800.118995

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With increased longevity, the management of fragility fractures in the elderly is becoming more frequent. In particular, hip fractures have considerable importance due to the significant morbidity and mortality. A 67-year-old woman underwent intramedullary nail (IMN) removal inserted for a pertrochanteric fracture that had occurred 20 months earlier. This was indicated due to continuous discomfort related to the protruding apex of the implant over the great trochanter. Due to pain persistence two days after surgery, a computed tomography (CT) scan was performed, documenting a minimally displaced impacted subcapital femoral neck fracture. Conservative management with close radiographic follow-up was conducted. After six months, the patient had returned to previous daily activities and a satisfactory range of motion was achieved without pain on walking. The purpose of our paper is to discuss the decision of removing hardware in the elderly osteoporotic patient and to analyze the possibility to conservatively treat an impacted minimally displaced subcapital fracture occurring after the removal of an IMN inserted previously for the treatment of a trochanteric fracture. In the elderly population with decreased bone quality, the removal of intramedullary implants of the proximal femur should be carefully evaluated, and osteoporotic patients undergoing reduction and fixation of femoral fractures should be encouraged to start antiosteoporotic therapy (bisphosphonate, teriparatide) to reduce the risk of further bone loss. Conservative treatment should be considered for the management of lesser symptomatic minimally displaced impacted fractures, where the inherent stability of the fracture allows rapid healing without further surgical attempts.

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