Can proximal femoral nailing of unstable trochanteric fractures help to regain pre-injury functional status in Indian rural patients? A prospective study of functional outcome of unstable intertrochanteric fractures with proximal femoral nailing


  • Shankar Linga S. Department of Orthopedics, KMC Mangalore, Manipal University, Karnataka
  • Janardhana Aithala P. Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka
  • Amarnath Savur Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka



Trochanteric fractures, Proximal femoral nailing, functional outcome


Background: In view of the high incidence of implant failure and varus collapse seen in unstable inter trochanteric femur fractures treated with dynamic hip screw (DHS), proximal femoral nailing (PFN) has gained popularity.1,2 However there is limited literature regarding functional outcome following PFN especially in Indian patients. In this study, our aim was to assess functional outcome following PFN of unstable inter trochanteric femur fractures which includes the ability to sit cross leg and squat.

Methods: This prospective observational study was done at the associated hospitals of KMC Mangalore, spanning a time period of around 2 years, from October 2014 to July 2016. All patients who presented with isolated closed unstable inter-trochanteric fractures were included in the study. Patients were treated with proximal femoral nailing and followed up for a minimum period of 6 months. Outcome measures included Harris hip score, walking status and ability to sit cross leg and squat.

Results: 40 consecutive patients (Mean age 61 years, range 25-95) were included in the study, all fractures united within 6 months. As per Harris hip score, 25 patients (62.5%) had excellent or good results, 8 patients (20%) had fair and 7 patients (17.5%) had poor results. 74% (20 out of 27) regained their gainful working status. 80% (24 out of 30) were able to squat easily  or with some  difficulty and 74% (20 out of 27) patients were able to sit crossed leg with or without difficulty. 82% (23 out of 28) regained their unassisted walking status.

Conclusions: For unstable inter trochanteric femur fracture PFN gives good results in terms of union, walking ability and majority of the patients regained their pre injury activity status including squatting and cross leg sitting. 


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