Nonunion paediatric femoral neck fracture treatment without open reduction



Fractures of the proximal femur account for less than 1% of all children’s fractures. Because of this, most orthopaedic surgeons lack enough experience in treating them. This adds to the rather high incidence of complications especially nonunion. At the time of this review there is no consensus on which method of treatment of the nonunion is the best. The objective of this study is to present our method of treatment to correct the nonunion without open reduction of the nonunion sites.


9 children with nonunion of the proximal femur with an average age of 10.2 years (2-14 years old) were included in the study. There were 7 males and 2 females. All of them underwent at least 1 operation to treat the initial fractures and the nonunion. The nonunion in all these 9 cases was treated with valgus intertrochanteric osteotomy without open reduction of the nonunion site. The healing time of the nonunion, the postoperative neck-shaft angle and the functional outcome were evaluated.


All the nonunion cases had coxa vara and had bone resorption of the femoral neck with x-ray evidences of avascular necrosis (AVN). Ratliff classification was used to classify the AVN, Ratliff type 3 was found in 4 cases, Ratliff 2 in 1 case and Ratliff 1 in 4 cases. Patients were followed for an average of 68 (range 36-156) months. All patients had x-ray evidence of solid union of the nonunion in an average time of 15.4 (range 13-18) weeks and union of the osteotomy sites within10.6 (range 9-12) weeks. The postoperative neck-shaft angle averaged 135° (range 125°-150°) compared to 98° before the surgery. The increase in the amount of neck-shaft angle was statistically significant (p<0.001). Using Harris Hip Score, 2 patients were graded as excellent, 3 patients were graded as good and 4 patients were graded as fair. Harris Hip Score was significantly improved compared to the preoperative status (p<0.001).


Nonunion paediatric femoral neck fracture treatment could be successfully treated without open reduction by using valgus intertrochanteric osteotomy. All patients obtained union of the nonunion site and the osteotomy site in this study. Harris Hip Score showed significant improvement. This technique can be used to treat nonunion with associated coxa vara, bone resorption and AVN with satisfactory results even in cases who had received several operations before.

Hip Int 2016; 26(6): 608 - 611




Perajit Eamsobhana, Kamolporn Keawpornsawan

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok - Thailand

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