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Fibrous dysplasia of the proximal femur presents with heterogeneous clinical manifestations dictating different surgical approaches. However, to date there are no clear recommendations to guide the choice of surgical approach and no general guidelines for the optimal orthopedic management of these lesions. The objective of this study was to evaluate treatment outcomes of angled blade plates and intramedullary nails, using as outcome indicators revision-free survival, pain, function and femoral neck-shaft-angle. Based on a review of published literature and our study findings, we propose a treatment algorithm, taking into account different factors, which may play a role in the selection of one surgical approach over another.
Data were evaluated in thirty-two patients (18 male) from a combined cohort from the Netherlands and Austria, who had a surgical intervention using an angled blade plate (n = 27) or an intramedullary nail (n = 5) between 1985 and 2015, and who had a minimal follow-up of one year. The primary outcome was success of the procedure according to the revised Henderson classification. Secondary outcomes, which were assessed at one year and at the end of follow-up included: function (as measured by walking ability), pain and change in femoral neck-shaft angle over time.
Analysis of data showed that revision-free survival was 72% after a median follow-up of 4.1 years. Revision was necessary in two patients for structural failure due to a fracture distal to an angled blade plate and in 7 patients due to angled blade plate-induced iliotibial tract pain. At the end of follow-up 91% of all patients had good walking ability and 91% were pain free. There was no significant postoperative change in femoral neck shaft angle.
Our data show that fibrous dysplasia of the proximal femur can be adequately and safely treated with angled blade plates or intramedullary nails, providing these are used according to specific characteristics of the individual patient. Based on published literature and our own experience, we propose an individualized, patient-tailored approach for the surgical management of fibrous dysplasia of the proximal femur.