Distal femoral replacement versus ORIF for severely comminuted distal femur fractures

Meagan E. Tibbo, Joshua A. Parry, Mario Hevesi, Matthew P. Abdel, Brandon J. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Distal femoral replacement (DFR) and open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) are surgical options for comminuted distal femur fractures. Comparative outcomes of these techniques are limited. The aims of this study were to compare implant survivorship, perioperative factors, and clinical outcomes of DFR vs. ORIF for comminuted distal femur fractures. Methods: Ten patients treated with rotating hinge DFRs for AO/OTA 33-C fractures from 2005 to 2015 were identified and matched 1:2 based on age and sex to 20 ORIF patients. Patients treated with DFR and ORIF had similar ages (80 vs. 76 years, p = 0.2) and follow-up (20 vs. 27 months, p = 1.0), respectively. Implant survivorship, length of stay (LOS), anesthetic time, estimated blood loss (EBL), ambulatory status, knee range of motion (ROM), and Knee Society scores (KSS) were assessed at final follow-up. Results: Survivorship free from any revision at 2 years was 90% and 65% for the DFR and ORIF groups, respectively (p = 0.59). Survivorship free from any reoperation at 2 years was 90% for the DFR group and 50% for the ORIF group (p = 0.16). Three ORIF patients (15%) went on to nonunion and two went on to delayed union. Mean EBL and LOS were significantly higher for the DFR group: 592 mL vs. 364 mL, and 13 vs. 6.5 days, respectively. Knee ROM (p = 0.71) and KSSs (p = 0.36) were similar between groups. Conclusions: Comminuted distal femur fractures treated with DFR trended toward lower revision and reoperation rates, with similar functional outcomes when compared to ORIF. We noted a trend toward increased EBL and LOS in the DFR group. Level of Evidence: Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-964
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Comminuted
  • Complications
  • Distal femoral replacement
  • Distal femur fracture
  • Open reduction internal fixation
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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