External Fixation vs. Skeletal Traction for Treatment of Intertrochanteric Fractures in the Elderly




Background: Hip fractures are one of the causes of disability amongst elderly patients. External fixator and skeletal traction are two modes of treatment. Objectives: The aim of this study is to compare two different treatment modes for intertrochanteric fractures in elderly patients. Patients and Methods: Sixty elderly patients with intertrochanteric fractures were randomized for treatment with either skeletal traction (Group A) or an external fixation (Group B). In this study patients at least 60 years of age, with AO/OTA A1 or A2 type fracture and intertrochanteric fracture as a result of minor trauma, were enrolled. Results: Acceptable reduction was achieved in eight and 26 patients of group A and B, respectively. The mean duration of hospitalization in Group A and Group B was 14.3 ± 1.1 and 2.2 ± 0.6 days, respectively. Significant differences between the two groups were observed, regarding acceptable reduction and duration of hospitalization. Less pain was observed in group B, at five days and twelve months after surgery; the average HHS was 57 and 66, in group A and B, respectively (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Treatment with an external fixator is an effective treatment modality for intertrochanteric fractures in elderly high-risk patients. The advantages include rapid and simple application, insignificant blood loss, less radiation exposure, adequate fixation, pain reduction, early discharge from the hospital, low cost and more favorable functional outcome.