The tip-apex distance in the X-Bolt dynamic plating system.
Fernandez MA., Aquilina A., Achten J., Parsons N., Costa ML., Griffin XL.
The Sliding Hip Screw (SHS) is commonly used to treat trochanteric hip fractures. Fixation failure is a devastating complication requiring complex revision surgery. One mode of fixation failure is lag screw cut-out which is greatest in unstable fracture patterns and when the tip-apex distance of the lag screw is > 25 mm. The X-Bolt Dynamic Hip Plating System (X-Bolt Orthopaedics, Dublin, Ireland) is a new device which aims to reduce this risk of cut-out. However, some surgeons have reported difficulty minimising the tip-apex distance with subsequent concerns that this may lead to an increased risk of cut-out.We measured the tip-apex distance from the intra-operative radiographs of 93 unstable trochanteric hip fractures enrolled in a randomised controlled trial (Warwick Hip Trauma Evaluation, WHiTE One trial). Participants were treated with either the sliding hip screw or the X-Bolt dynamic hip plating system. We also recorded the incidence of cut-out in both groups, at a median follow-up time of 17 months.There was a significantly increased tip-apex distance with the use of the X-Bolt (mean difference 3.7mm (95% confidence interval 1.58 to 5.73); SHS mean 17.1 mm, X-Bolt mean 20.8; p = 0.001. However, this was not associated with an increased incidence of cut-out at a median follow-up time of 17 months, with three cut-outs (6%) in the SHS group and 0 (0%) in the X-Bolt group.The X-Bolt is a safe implant with no increased risk for cut-out. Concerns about minimising the tip-apex distance may be justified but do not appear to be clinically important.Cite this article: M. A. Fernandez, A. Aquilina, J. Achten, N. Parsons, M. L. Costa, X. L. Griffin. The tip-apex distance in the X-Bolt dynamic plating system. Bone Joint Res 2017;6:-207. DOI: 10.1302/2046-3758.64.BJR-2015-0016.R2.