Quality of Life After Pertrochanteric Femoral Fractures Treated With a Gamma Nail

A Single Center Study of 62 Patients

Christian Giessauf; Mathias Glehr; Gerwin A Bernhardt; Franz J Seibert; Karl Gruber; Patrick Sadoghi; Andreas Leithner; Gerald Gruber


BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012;13(214) 

In This Article


Background: Intramedullary nailing of pertrochanteric femoral fractures has grown in popularity over the past 2 decades likely because this procedure is associated with a low risk for postoperative morbidity and a fast recovery of function. The evaluation of outcomes associated with pertrochanteric nailing has mainly been based on objective measures. The purpose of the present study is to correlate patients' health-related quality of life results after intramedullary nailing of pertrochanteric fractures with objective outcome measures.

Methods: We conducted a single-center study including 62 patients (mean age 80 ± 10 years) with pertrochanteric fractures treated with a Gamma 3 Nail. Health related quality of life was measured using the Short Form-36. These results were compared to both US and Austrian age and sex-adjusted population norms. The objective outcome measures studied at one year postoperatively included Harris Hip Score, range of motion, leg length, body mass index, neck-shaft angle and grade of osteoarthritis.

Results: According to the Harris Hip Score 43 patients (67%) had excellent or good results. There was no significant difference in the average neck-shaft angle comparing affected hip to non-affected hip at 12 months postoperatively. The average osteoarthritis score, for both the injured and uninjured hip, did not differ significantly. We found significant differences between the bodily pain, social functioning and mental health subscales and two summary scores of the Short-Form 36 in comparison to Austrian population norms. Complication rate was 8%.

Conclusions: The results of this study confirm that intramedullary nailing with the use of a Gamma Nail is a safe treatment option for stable and unstable pertrochanteric fractures. Despite good functional and radiographic results we noticed a substantial fall off in patients' quality of life up to 12 months after operation.