Unfavorable cortical hypertrophy potentially predisposes to periprosthetic “axe splitter” fracture in a collarless polished curved triple-tapered cemented stem: The time-dependent radiographic change in five SC-stem cases

Published:September 28, 2022DOI:



      The periprosthetic fracture of cemented polished tapered stems is occasionally called a “unique” or “axe splitter” fracture. However, there has been insufficient evidence regarding the association between the radiographic findings prior to incidence and this cumbersome fracture. To determine if there are any radiographic interpretations associated with this fracture pattern, we report the five SC-stem cases with total hip arthroplasty.


      We investigate the patient characteristics and serial radiographs of five fracture cases and evaluate the time-dependent specific radiographical changes around the stem between pre-arthroplasty and fracture.


      Fractures developed at 3.5–6.4 years after surgery with low-grade injury or with no particular incentive. Femoral cortical hypertrophy at the distal medial side around the stem was observed in all cases before the development of fractures, at 2–6 years after primary surgery. The duration between cortical hypertrophy appearance to the development of fracture was 0.4–3.1 years.


      The appearance of this zone-specific cortical hypertrophy might play a key role in the occurrence of periprosthetic fractures. Further studies with larger sample sizes should be conducted to elucidate this eccentric periprosthetic fracture.
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