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Background: Although proximal femoral locking compression plates (PF-LCP) have been used with increasing frequency in the fixation of proximal femoral fractures in the pediatric population, there is a lack of literature regarding their use. The purpose of this study was to examine the failure rates of PF-LCP fixation in comparison to other accepted fixation methods within a pediatric population.
Methods: Retrospective review identified consecutive children treated for proximal femoral fractures from September, 2008 to February, 2019, who had a minimum follow-up of 12 weeks. Patient charts and radiographs were reviewed, and demographic information was compiled. In the case of failures, timing and method of failure were documented.
Results: Sixty-four proximal femoral fractures (61 children) were studied. The average age at the time of presentation was 10.4 years. Twenty-six fractures were treated with PF-LCPs and 38 with other fixation methods (compression hip screws, rigid locked intramedullary nailing, cannulated screws, or a combination of hip screw side plate and intramedullary nailing). Failure occurred in four of the 26 fractures treated with locking compression plating (15.4%), compared to none of the 38 treated with other fixation types (p<0.05).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates an increased risk of failure in proximal femoral fractures treated with locking compression plates (12.9%) compared to 0% other fixation methods (no failures). As a result of this study, we no longer use locked plating systems for pediatric femoral neck fractures at our institution.