OBJECTIVES: The management of geriatric distal femur fractures is controversial, and both primary distal femur replacement (DFR) or surgical fixation (SF) are viable treatment options. The purpose of this study was to compare patient outcomes after these treatment strategies.DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched for English language papers up to April 24, 2020, identifying 2,129 papers.STUDY SELECTION: Studies evaluating complications in elderly patients treated for distal femur fractures with either immediate DFR or surgical fixation were included. Studies with mean patient age <55 years, nontraumatic indications for DFR, or SF with non-locking plates were excluded.DATA EXTRACTION: Two studies provided Level II or III evidence while the remaining 28 studies provided Level IV evidence. Studies were formally evaluated for methodologic quality using established criteria. Treatment failure between groups was compared using an incidence rate ratio.DATA SYNTHESIS: Treatment failure was defined for both surgical fixation and arthroplasty as complications requiring a major reoperation for reasons such as mechanical failure, nonunion, deep infection, aseptic loosening, or extensor mechanism disruption. There were no significant differences in complication rates or knee range of motion between SF and DFR.CONCLUSION: SF and DFR for the treatment of geriatric distal femur fractures demonstrate similar overall complication rates. Given the available evidence, no strong conclusions on the comparative effectiveness between the two treatments can be definitively made. More rigorous prospective research comparing SF versus DFR to treat acute geriatric distal femur fractures is warranted.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
View details for DOI 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001867
View details for PubMedID 32569072