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Hip Pelvis. 2019 Mar;31(1):23-32. English. Original Article.
Noh J , Lee KH , Jung S , Hwang S .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, Bucheon, Korea.


Isolated greater trochanteric (GT) fractures are often identified using plain radiography of patients with post-traumatic hip pain. In many cases, the fracture extends to form an occult intertrochanteric fracture. We conducted a study to determine the frequency of occult intertrochanteric fractures in patients diagnosed with isolated GT fractures using plain radiographs.

Materials and Methods

Among 3,017 individuals who visited our emergency department with a trauma-induced pertrochanteric femur fracture between July 2004 and March 2018, 100 patients diagnosed with isolated GT fractures using plain radiographs were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into two groups, those with: i) isolated GT fractures (group A) and ii) occult intertrochanteric fractures (group B). In addition, plain radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging results, and treatment methods were further analyzed in each group. If surgery treatment was needed, it was performed by one surgeon, and in all cases, a 2-hole dynamic hip screw was used.


Among the 100 cases of isolated GT fractures diagnosed using plain radiograph, additional examinations revealed that 10 (10.0%) were suffering from isolated GT fractures alone, while the remaining 90 (90.0%) were further diagnosed with occult intertrochanteric fracture. Gender, age, mechanism of injury, and bone mineral density did not correlate with fracture type.


In our analysis, 90% of injuries initially diagnosed as isolated GT fractures were found to extend into occult intertrochanteric fractures upon further examination with additional imaging modalities. Therefore, additional evaluation should be performed to test for the potential presence of occult intertrochanteric fractures and to establish appropriate treatment plans.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.