Potential bone fragility of mid-shaft atypical femoral fracture: Biomechanical analysis by a CT-based nonlinear finite element method.Injury 2019I
The authors previously reported a CT-based nonlinear finite element analysis (nonlinear CT/FEA) model to investigate loading stress distribution in the femoral shaft of patients with atypical femoral fractures (AFFs). This showed that stress distribution, influenced primarily by femoral bowing, may determine the location of AFF. Here, we demonstrate the locational characteristics associated with AFFs in an Asian, specifically Japanese, population regarding bone strength. This is the second report from our multicentre research project suggesting a possible new concept of diagnostic criteria or treatment according to AFF subtype.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
A multicentre prospective study was conducted at 12 hospitals in Japan from August 2015 through June 2018. We recruited three study groups composed of elderly females over the age of 60 years-the mid-shaft AFF group (n = 14; 80.0 ± 6.5 years), the subtrochanteric AFF group (n = 15; 73.9 ± 6.8 years), and the control group who had sustained unilateral hip fracture (n = 21; 82.1 ± 7.1 years)-and analysed femoral neck bone density and strength. Bone strength of the femoral neck was predicted with an evaluation method using nonlinear CT/FEA in both standing and falling configuration.
Femoral neck bone density and strength were significantly higher in the subtrochanteric AFF group compared with the mid-shaft AFF and control groups (p < 0.0001). No significant difference was seen in bone strength between the mid-shaft AFF and control groups (standing, p = 0.7616; falling, p = 0.3803).
AFF has different features, in terms of bone strength, depending on fracture location. At the very least, Japanese patients with mid-shaft AFF could be at high risk of hip fracture because of bone fragility, in contrast to the firm bone of subtrochanteric AFF. For internal fixation of mid-shaft AFF using an IM nail, cervical screw insertion toward the femoral head might be recommended to prevent possible hip fracture.