Surgical management of angulated femoral intramedullary nails associated with closed fractures: A systematic review of the literature

Mark L. Dunleavy, Alex Burton, J. Spence Reid, Carol E. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Femoral nail bending is a rare complication of intramedullary (IM) fixation of femoral diaphyseal fractures. Published literature regarding this injury pattern has thus far been limited to case reports or case series, thus no universally accepted surgical treatment strategy has been developed. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using the Pubmed/MEDLINE and Scopus/EMBASE databases. A standardized template was used to extract data including author, year of publication, patient demographics, degree of angulation, mechanism of injury, time since initial procedure to reinjury, surgical treatment, and clinical outcomes. A case report from our institution was described as well. Results: 27 cases in 25 reports were included in the qualitative analysis. All of the patients were males, and the ages ranged from 17 to 66 (mean age = 27.8). The degree of deformity ranged from 18 to 85° (mean 35.6), most commonly in a varus or apex anterior orientation. The nail deformities were corrected via one of six general surgical techniques: full transection of the nail, partial sectioning and manual straightening, limited corticotomy or longitudinal bone window, straightening with the assistance of a plate and reduction clamps, closed manipulation, or extraction without the need for manipulation. The fractures were then most commonly treated with revision IM nail. Conclusions: The bent IM nail is a rare and challenging injury to treat. No one technique has been identified as “the gold standard” and each case must be approached with its unique characteristics in mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
Volume21
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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