Periprosthetic Fracture Specialist

Gregory Lavigne, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics

Gregory Lavigne, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Reconstructive Surgeon located in Asheville, NC & Arden, NC

If you’ve had a knee or hip replacement in the past due to joint damage, fractures can occur near your new joint. Fortunately this is rare, but if it does occur, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregory Lavigne — a member of the Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics team at Pardee Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina — repairs your joint to prevent further complications. Call to learn more about restorative surgery for artificial joints, or book an appointment online today

Periprosthetic Fracture Q & A

What is a periprosthetic fracture?

Periprosthetic fractures are rare, but happen in about 1% of total hip replacement surgeries and 1.5% of total knee replacement procedures. When this occurs, a bone breaks near the implant of your artificial hip or knee.

Periprosthetic fractures are serious complications that usually require surgery.

These fractures may happen during hip or knee replacement surgery, but most often occur years after patients receive their replacement joints. For example, falls or other accidents can cause fractures near artificial joints, as can having osteoporosis — weak bones.

What are the symptoms of periprosthetic fractures?

It’s common to experience symptoms when you have a periprosthetic fracture, which may include:

  • Severe pain near the fracture site
  • Swelling and bruising near your hip, thigh, or knee
  • An injured leg that appears deformed or shorter than the other leg
  • Inability to bear weight on a leg where the fracture occurred

CalI Dr. Lavigne and Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics team for an evaluation immediately when symptoms arise, or go to the nearest emergency room to avoid further complications.

How are periprosthetic fractures diagnosed?

To diagnose a periprosthetic fracture, Dr. Lavigne and the team of surgeons at Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics:

  • Conduct a physical examination to assess joint pain
  • Complete imaging tests, such as X-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Review laboratory tests upon hospital admission to prepare for surgery

You likely aren’t able to put weight on your injured leg after a periprosthetic fracture. You may receive a stabilization device to keep your leg straight and avoid further injury until you’re admitted to the hospital for surgery.

What is the treatment for periprosthetic fractures?

If you have a periprosthetic hip or knee fracture, Dr. Lavigne often uses surgery to repair your injury. You may stay at the hospital until your surgery is scheduled, in order to keep your knee or hip stabilized and avoid complications.

Surgical treatment to repair the damaged area near your artificial joint is often extensive, and may last over three hours. You’re likely to stay in the hospital for several days after surgery, and begin physical therapy soon after.

Call Dr. Lavigne and the Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics team right away if you have symptoms of a periprosthetic fracture, or head to the nearest emergency room to have your injury evaluated and repaired as soon as possible.