Gunshot Wounds to the Hip: Doomed to Failure?


The purpose is to evaluate hip fractures due to gunshot wounds (GSW) to the hip, which are treated surgically, and the complications. Patients who sustained a low velocity GSW with fracture to the femoral head/neck and intertrochanteric/ peritrochantric region at three Level 1 Trauma Centers were eligible. There were 69 patients (63 males–91%), with an average age of 29 (18–60). Nine patients had orthopaedic surgical site infections. There were 6 nonunions, 4 patients with hardware failure, 2 cases of avascular necrosis (AVN), 3 patients with post traumatic arthritis (PTA) and 20 patients with heterotopic ossification (HO). There was no significant difference found regarding fracture site or type of fixation with regards to complications. This represents the largest study of surgically treated GSW to the hip. Of patients studied, 61% sustained additional GSW. These injuries are not benign; the main complications being infection and heterotopic ossification. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(3):135–140, 2020) Key words: low-velocity gunshot wound, hip fracture, surgical fixation, debridement, complication

Yiyi Zhang, BS; Breydan Wright, BS; Peter D’Amore, MD; Cody Hightower, MD; Thomas Stang, MD; Heidi Israel, PhD; Michael Tucker, MD; Robert Zura, MD; and Lisa K. Cannada, MD