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Flexible interlocked nailing of pediatric femoral fractures: experience with a new flexible interlocking intramedullary nail compared with other fixation procedures



Flexible interlocked nailing of pediatric femoral fractures: experience with a new flexible interlocking intramedullary nail compared with other fixation procedures



Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 28(8): 864-873



The optimal treatment of femoral shaft fractures in older children and adolescents remains controversial. We hypothesized that fixation with a flexible interlocking intramedullary nail (FIIN) reduces perioperative complications and improves outcomes, including leg-length discrepancy, time to healing, and time to weight bearing compared with other fixation procedures (OFPs) including standard elastic nail implants. Using a retrospective cohort study design, we reviewed medical records and radiographs of children, 7 to 18 years of age, with femoral shaft fractures requiring open treatment between July 1, 1998, and June 30, 2003. Patients selected for the study had unilateral fracture sites proximal to the supracondylar region and distal to the lesser trochanter, presence of open femoral growth plates, and open surgical treatment. Analyses compared inpatient measures and patient outcomes between FIIN and OFP groups. Of the 160 patients eligible for inclusion, 23 were lost to follow-up. The remaining 137 patients had a mean follow-up of 396.3 days (SD, 320.4 days), with 58 receiving FIIN fixation and 79 OFP. Although the difference was not statistically significant, complications occurred in 19.0% of patients in the FIIN group and 30.4% in the OFP group. Trochanteric heterotopic ossification was the most common complication (13.8%) noted in the FIIN group and superficial infection (12.8%) in the OFP group. The FIIN group experienced less blood loss (P = 0.042) and shorter time to weight bearing (P = 0.001) without disturbance of proximal femoral geometry or avascular necrosis of the femoral head. In children weighing less than 45.5 kg (100 lb), complications were less common with FIIN (3.6%) compared with OFP (24.4%). A subgroup of patients less than 45.5 kg (100 lb) with standard elastic nail implants (n = 24) had 8.1 times the complications of patients with FIIN. Older children and adolescents with femoral shaft fractures treated with a FIIN showed improved outcomes compared with patients treated with OFP. Level III, therapeutic study.

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Accession: 053260242

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19034180

DOI: 10.1097/bpo.0b013e31818e64a1


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