A new approach to prevent contralateral hip fracture: Evaluation of the effectiveness of a fracture preventing implant


      • We assessed the biomechanical performance of a hip fracture preventive device.
      • The device increases both load and energy to fracture of the proximal femur.
      • The performance is maintained after 30 load cycles during multiple fall simulation.
      • None atypic fracture was observed during the mechanical tests.



      Among the millions of people suffering from a hip fracture each year, 20% may sustain a contralateral hip fracture within 5 years with an associated mortality risk increase reaching 64% in the 5 following years. In this context, we performed a biomechanical study to assess the performance of a hip fracture preventing implant.


      The implant consists of two interlocking peek rods unified with surgical cement. Numerical and biomechanical tests were performed to simulate single stance load or lateral fall. Seven pairs of femurs were selected from elderly subjects suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia, and tested ex-vivo after implantation of the device on one side.


      The best position for the implant was identified by numerical simulations. The loadings until failure showed that the insertion of the implant increased significantly (P < 0.05) both fracture load (+18%) and energy to fracture (+32%) of the implanted femurs in comparison with the intraindividual controls. The instrumented femur resisted the implementation of the non-instrumented femur fracture load for 30 cycles and kept its performance at the end of the cyclic loading.


      Implantation of the fracture preventing device improved both fracture load and energy to fracture when compared with intraindividual controls. This is consistent with previous biomechanical side-impact testing on pairs of femur using the same methodology. Implant insertion seems to be relevant to support multiple falls and thus, to prevent a second hip fracture in elderly patients.


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