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J Trauma. 1988 Nov;28(11):1515-22.

Early use of the Brooker-Wills interlocking intramedullary nail (BWIIN) for femoral shaft fractures in acute trauma patients.

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  • 1Southern New Jersey Regional Trauma Center, Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center, Camden.


During a 33-month period, 40 multiply injured patients underwent 43 Brooker-Wills interlocking intramedullary nailings (BWIIN) for femur fractures in the setting of a Level I trauma unit. There were 12 open fractures (28%), 66% of the closed fractures underwent BWIIN within the first 24 hours of injury, and 33 fractures (77%) had comminution of Winquist-Hansen Type II or greater, and either static or dynamic locking techniques were used in 38 (88%) of the cases. There were three intraoperative technical problems. The estimated blood loss and operative times were consistent with other reported series for interlocking nailing techniques. The average followup was 65 weeks. Only one fracture went on to nonunion. There were no problems with angulation or rotation. One patient had 1.5 cm of shortening. There were four major (9%) and four minor (9%) complications. Rod removal was successful in 17 of 18 cases. Mechanical failure (deformation and/or fracture) of the proximal end of the rod was found in four (22%) of the extracted nails and caused failure of removal in one. The Brooker-Wills nail is a versatile device which can be used to treat complex fractures of the entire femoral shaft in acutely injured patients.

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